Biodegradable this, biodegradable that – a word that is often thrown around as a USP for products. But what does this term actually mean?
In short, if something is biodegradable, in the right conditions and having some microorganisms, fungi or bacteria present, then the product will eventually break down into its basic components and mix back into the earth. Ideal, right?
When we first explored the idea of launching a functional, natural chewing gum – the product sounded great! But we were so concerned about the impact on the environment. Whilst we knew we’d put our used gum in the bin, we didn’t want our gum to be littering the streets in case you lot didn’t!
So, what did we do?
Well most importantly, we sent a load of our gum to Eurofins laboratory based in Wolverhampton for official testing. The lab needed to test chewed gum, so we had to chew through about 200 pieces of gum within a couple of weeks. Being only a small bunch of us here, that equalled a lot of gum per person! Luckily, we love the stuff – so it wasn’t bad at all (although keeping our used gum was kind of disgusting!!). The lab came back and confirmed that we were able to label the product as being biodegradable. So good news.
Parallel with this, we decided to run our own experiment. We wanted to see for ourselves that our gum is biodegradable. With two glasses of pond water, we compared our natural based gum to a synthetic based gum. Leaving the glasses on the windowsill for 2 months, the natural gum reacted and reduced in weight considerably compared to the synthetic gum. By the end of the experiment, the natural gum was half the weight of the synthetic.