Sunday, May 11, 2008


An End to Chewing Gum Misery?

Back in 2004 Tony Blair signalled that the nation's 28m. chewing gum addicts would be targetted to stop casting their spent gum on pavements and the like. Readers of this blog will be aware of my obsession with litter and, if I could be bothered to type it out, I'd be one of the half million people who each year write to their local authority complaining about these noxious and apparently irremovable substances.

It has always been the greatest mystery to me why we can perform the most delicate brain operations and plan to land a spacecraft on an asteroid, but cannot find a way to clean gum splattered on the pavements- and that's every pavement in the country- in a cost effective way. High pressure cleaners have to be used and it's expensive, too expensive for most local authorities, let alone that in charge of the dirtiest town in the UK, Stockport. All we need is a substance which dissolves the sodding stuff so that it can be washed away.

But now a possible solution appears on the horizon. We learn the Revolymer, a spin-off from Bristol University, will be awarded £10m to develop a new gum which will dissolve in water and disappear from pavements within 24 hours. If this brand replaces all the others, then some respite for litter haters might be at hand. But there still remains the problem of removing the stuff accumulated over the past few decades. I note Venice bans the stuff from being brought in by any visor and that in Singapore, they have the good sense to punish people who use it by making them walk naked down Orchard St with gum affixed to they genitals.

I can't say I particularly want to see exhibitionists with gum on their dicks... but local authorities should enforce spot penalties on those spitting the revolting stuff out, and they should be given the powers to enforce those who do not pay to spend five hours cleaning gum off the pavements.

Apart from dog-shit it is the single most revolting thinfg councils are expected to clean up after people.
Glad you agree. The thing about gum on dicks was a joke of course.
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