Discarded chewing gum is everywhere — we see it on our streets, at our bus stops and under all sorts of surfaces. Instead of being left to (inevitably) stick to the bottom of your shoe, what if there was a way to recycle chewing gum to give it a second life?
French design students Hugo Maupetit and Vivian Fischer have designed the world’s first skateboard wheels… made of chewing gum! These colourful, recycled wheels are completely functional — and they look amazing, too.
Curious to know how they’re made? Keep on reading to find out!
The Gum is Collected & Melted With Plastic
To collect the discarded gum, Hugo and Vivian install special collection boards in the busiest areas of Nantes, France. As you can see, the whiteboard has a little half-face design, so passerby’s can decorate the ‘hair’ with colourful gum.
Over the week, passerby’s stick their chewing gum onto the boards. At the end of every week, Hugo and Vivian collect the gum boards.
Once the gum is cleaned and shredded, it gets melted down with the whiteboards that they were placed on. The boards are made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) plastic, so they help to stabilise the gum and create a new substance that can be fashioned into a sturdy wheel! Natural dyes are added to give the wheels the groovy, swirly patterns that you see in the images.
The Wheels Are Moulded Into Different Sizes
The chewing gum wheels are crafted in four sizes and three hardness levels. Each wheel requires 10-30 pieces of gum — depending on the hardness level. When the wheels wear out they can be melted back down and crafted into a new wheel!
Once the wheels are crafted, they’re stamped with “VANS x Mentos”, which is the desired partnership that the students are hoping to score with their innovative idea. They’re also hoping to get Perfetti Van Melle on board, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chewing gum.
"It's extremely important for brands to get involved in this kind of issue, simply because multinationals are the biggest producers of industrial waste," Hugo explained to Dezeen.
“From The Streets, To The Streets”
This creative idea could clean up city streets, give chewing gum a second life, and provide awesome wheels for sustainable skaters!
“Our initiative is supposed to clean the streets in a sustainable way. That is why we invented a system that will transform used wheels and turn them into new ones. No more waste is created and the material stays in use,” Hugo and Vivian told Inhabitat.
Although this idea is still in its infancy, we hope Vans, Mentos and Perfetti Van Melle take notice. Nevertheless, Hugo Maupetit and Vivian Fischer have come up with an ingenious idea — one that could completely change the way we use chewing gum. Who knows? Maybe sometime in the future, we’ll see gum disposal boards in Aussie cities!
Felvarrom | Bags, Wallets & Accessories Made From Bike Tyres!
Before you go, we wanted to shine the spotlight on this amazing Hungarian brand — Felvarrom.
Felvarrom is a brand that’s truly committed to our environment and reusing what we already have. They make innovative (and very functional) wallets, bags and accessories out of old bike inner tubes! Each piece is one-of-a-kind. You’ll know this because you’ll see previous signs of life, such as skids, marks and patches. It’s amazing to think that the material of your bag, wallet, belt or keychain could’ve travelled through Hungary... as a bike!
These Felvarrom products are amazing gifts for avid cyclists and motorbike enthusiasts. This Felvarrom Recycled Inner Tube Bag, for example, can be used for practically anything — toiletries, tools, or anything else you can think of.
You can find a wide range of Recycled Bags & Wallets here at Flora & Fauna.
Here at F&F, we love seeing ingenious ideas turned into reality — especially ones that benefit our planet! If you love reading about the latest ideas in the world of sustainability, head to The Eco Hub for more.