Menu Menu

Nuud calls out chewing gum giants’ plastic problem

Working to ignite a conversation around the ‘food industry’s dirtiest secret,’ the plastic-free chewing gum manufacturer has called out its rivals in a bold new campaign.

Did you know that gum – which millions of us chew every year – contains an ingredient derived from plastic?

‘Chewing gum is basically plastic doped with flavours and colourings,’ as BBC Science Focus puts it.

Not only does this mean that it’s steadily polluting the Earth, but it’s actually entering our bloodstreams and vital organs, presenting a major threat to human health.

For this reason, plastic-free chewing gum manufacturer Nuud has committed to raising awareness about the ‘food industry’s dirtiest secret’ through much-needed research and improving transparency sector-wide.

‘Scientific evidence is emerging all the time revealing the disgusting truth that plastic is getting into our bloodstreams and vital organs. Plastic in our bodies is undeniably a major threat to human health,’ says founder Keir Carnie.

‘We’ve begun to make strides to cut out needless plastic, take the ban on straws for example, now we want consumers to get behind our fight against plastic gum by chewing plants not plastic.’

To kickstart this endeavour, Nuud conducted a survey earlier this month to find out how many people would opt for more sustainable chewing habits if they knew the truth.

It uncovered that 75% of the 2,000 respondents would support an outright ban of gum made from plastic, 84% want clearer labelling on packaging to indicate such contents, 68% are concerned about what it’s doing to the environment, and 69% believe that major companies should cover the cost of picking up waste.

‘Governments cannot continue to allow this toxic content to be listed on packs as a gum base – instead the public needs to be shown the risks loud and clear,’ said Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, at the time.

‘The tobacco industry spent decades hiding and discrediting studies showing the link between lung cancer and smoking before finally after nearly 30 years consumers wised up. Let’s not make the same mistake with plastic gum.’

Collating public opinion can only go so far, however.

Recognising the influence of a good marketing campaign, Nuud has taken to calling out its rivals with provocative posters and a range of different poster designs – created by The Or London – that seek to ignite a wider conversation around the issue.

‘Chew plants not plastic,’ reads its slogan, referring to the fact there’s a drinking straw’s worth of single-use plastic hidden in each individual piece.

The hope is that drawing attention to the problem this way will encourage brands to follow in their footsteps and begin making products naturally, with tree sap, for example.

‘Our job is twofold from a marketing perspective: it is about bringing down that lack of awareness as quickly as possible and then, from a growth perspective, ensuring that our plant-based, planet-friendly alternative is available where the consumer wants to find this,’ finishes Carnie.

‘It’s such an impulse-driven category it’s about being available in the right place at the right time for the consumer – starting that campaigning process on the front of the pack in the three to five seconds you get to grab someone’s attention in store.’