There’s gum in these wheels!
Whether you’re stepping in it or scrapping it off, gum can be a nuisance if not disposed of properly. What makes matters worse is that gum takes about 50 years to even start decomposing due to the synthetic rubbers it’s made from.
But two students have discovered a new potential purpose for those old wads of chewing gum…
Stuck on wheels!
Hugo Maupetit and Vivian Fischer at the School of Design in Nantes, France decided to come up with an idea to make their city cleaner and more sustainable. That led them to think of collecting used chewing gum and redesigning it into skateboard wheels.
It all started with a brainstorming session for a project to help combat the gum issue in urban areas. Eventually, they came up with the “Off the Street” initiative.
This imaged initiative would encourage people to take action to keep their cities slightly cleaner.
How would the idea work?
Going all over town and collecting gum seems like a hassle (and a bit unsanitary). That’s why they came up with “gum boards” to help people collect used pieces of gum.
These boards are placed around the city where people can dispose of their gum by sticking it on the board.
Once the gum board is full, they can be collected, cleaned with a stabilizing agent, heated, and then finally remolded into skateboard wheels.
Natural dyes can be used to add style and personalization.
Maybe this will stick…
Maupetit and Fischer hope to create a way to keep the city a bit cleaner while making it more sustainable.
“That is why we invented a system that will transform used wheels and turn them into new ones,” they said. “No more waste is created, and the material stays in use. We thought, ‘why not take this characteristic waste of the city and use it to make it greener?’ The bold colors and texture of chewing gum is the perfect fit for use in skate wheels.”
While gum and its impact on the environment may not seem like a pressing issue, the duo believes this imaginary project could one day become a reality. They also hope it will encourage more people to think about the small, and seemingly insignificant, impact that things like chewing gum can have on our lives.