Sunday, May 8, 2005

Independent on Sunday: Gum Control

We leave it behind seats, under tables and trodden into the street. Keith Laidlaw looks at the latest solutions to a multi-million pound problem we seem to be stuck with.

Looking more like a painter's impression of polished pebbles in a stream than blobs of goo in the gutter, these images beautifully illustrate an ugly urban problem that just won't go away: chewing gum. Confectionery companies sell almost a billion packets of the stuff every year in Britain alone, and local authorities spend around pounds 150m trying to get rid of the resulting mess. These photographs were taken on London's Oxford Street and show just a few of the estimated 300,000 pieces of gum the busy road has stuck to it at any one time. [Read full article]