Ultrascape tackles the fight against chewing gum litter

An estimated £10million a year is the bill for tackling chewing gum litter in London. On average, a piece of chewing gum costs 3p to buy but the price to remove it, if it ends up on the floor, is anywhere between 10p and £1.50! Keep Britain Tidy state that in the UK 20 million people chew more than 935 million packs of gum every year. Chewing gum litter is a colossal and costly problem that degrades aesthetically pleasing paved areas.

Since 2005, annual campaigns have been run by the Chewing Gum Action Group (in association with several local authorities) with the aim to rid our streets of chewing gum litter. Year on year these campaigns are achieving some results; however a recent survey executed by Keep Britain Tidy confirmed that 69% of sites surveyed had flattened gum or staining present regardless.

It appears that focusing awareness on changing the bad habit of discarding chewing gum on the floor, and imposing fines are not enough to tackle chewing gum litter. With the added issue of chewing gum being highly resistant to cleaning chemicals and not degrading naturally, specialist removal procedures are effective but time consuming and expensive, often leaving staining.

In connection with the fight against chewing gum litter, Ultrascape would like to emphasise that consideration should be given to the protection of paving. A range of protection materials for the after care of paving are manufactured by the brand and are available nationwide.

Ultrascape’s newest addition, Paving Guard is a solvent free chewing gum adhesion inhibitor. It reduces the ability of chewing gum to adhere to the paving surface. The product will not prevent chewing gum from sticking to paving altogether, which is generally not desirable due to the subsequent risk of carriage into shops and other internal areas, as well as attaching to soles of shoes. The product facilitates easier removal during normal cleaning cycles, avoiding time consuming and costly specialist procedures. Furthermore, when Paving Guard is applied it forms a protective barrier to many common stain agents e.g. oil, grease, foodstuffs etc. It reduces the effects of such stains, and those created by chewing gum, facilitating easier subsequent cleaning of the treated areas.

Alternatively, Ultrascape also offer Joint Fix, a resin surface sealer. With similar properties to those of Paving Guard, Joint Fix also seals paving providing protection from stain agents and allowing for easier cleaning. The product is a suitable option for when a traditional resin-based material is specified, as opposed to the more recent water-based Paving Guard, which is favoured when project’s are trying to achieve environmental targets and approvals.

Both products can also be used on flexibly constructed paved areas as a sand stabiliser. They bond sand in the joints, preventing wash-out and maintaining the degree of flexibility required.

Ideally Ultrascape Paving Guard and Joint Fix should be applied to newly laid paving but both can be used on existing constructions that have been suitably prepared.

Paving and joint protection are essential for preserving the aesthetics of large public realm projects. Chewing gum litter may never be eliminated, unless the decision is made to ban it as in Singapore perhaps, but Ultrascape provide a simple and cost-effective solution to local authorities nationwide.

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