Is Gum Biodegradable

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: October 22, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Is Gum Biodegradable

No. Gum is not biodegradable. That means all the Gum you find around you is likely to be there for a very long time. 

Due to the Gum’s inability to go through biodegradation, it ends up becoming a problem to the environment. 

Due to the havoc chewing Gum can cause to the environment, it is advisable that people stop chewing Gum, but is that the right thing to do, considering it is mainly chewed to keep your breath minty fresh. 

The good news is that some companies are into the production of eco-friendly chewing Gum, which reduces its environmental nightmare.

How long does it take Gum to decompose?

The truth regarding Gum’s decomposition is that it will take a very long time before it decomposes. 

It takes close to 50 years for Gum to start any breakdown process, and it can take close to 500 years before it decomposes. 

That shows you are never going to witness any of the Gum you chew decomposing. 

The primary reason gum does not decompose because it is made with a rubber-like material. 

Is Gum compostable?

No. Chewing gum is not compostable. It won’t break down in the compost, and getting your compost filled with Gum is not the right thing to do. 

However, some claimed that Gum is one thing you can compost by adding to the Hotbin. Mind you, and it still will take a more extended period to breakdown compared to other waste. 

Is Gum bad for the environment?

Yes. Gum is bad for the environment. Most people that chew Gum fail to dispose of the Gum properly, or perhaps most of them do not know the right way to dispose of it because it doesn’t biodegrade or decompose quickly. 

Most people find it so easy to drop the Gum on the floor, which then ends up causing an environmental problem.

It gets sticky on any surface, and it takes a whole lot of effort to get it off the ground. 

Some might even require chemical substances that tiny amount of it or quantity will go into the ground and cause damages to the soil by affecting its nutrient. 

Is there plastic in Gum?

Yes. If the Gum is not natural or plant-based. Chewing Gum is made from the sap of a sapodilla tree which is common to central America. 

The sap is popularly known as chicle and can be mixed with other natural gum bases such as paraffin wax, beeswax, jelutong, and sorva.

All said above are the norms before world war II. After world war II, chemists replace chicle with some artificial gum bases and then added flavor and sweetened synthetic plastics, waxes, and rubber that are very easy to access.

It is pretty hard to say if truly plastic is in Gum. Still, from some of the gum bases used in Gum production, you can tell it has some synthetic materials such as polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate. 

Does Gum dissolve?

No. Gum doesn’t dissolve because of the substances used in its production. The rubber used in the production of Gum as a gum base is not soluble in water. 

Even if you decide to chew the Gum for a more extended period, it still won’t dissolve.

Swallowing the Gum will not be the right option, especially for kids, to block the intestinal tract. 

The acid in the stomach will not dissolve the Gum, and most times, they come out in the form of its solid state whenever you defecate.

For safety reasons, it is never advisable that you swallow Gum because it doesn’t digest, unlike food. 

The digestive system can’t break down Gum the same way it breaks down foods, and that means the Gum is likely to come up just the same way you swallow it through poop.  


This post on “Is gum biodegradable?” reveals all that you need to know about Gum, its effect on the environment, and how well you should handle any gum you eat from now on. 

We ensured we gave the correct information on each topic to be fully informed on some essential things you need to know about Gum.

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