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Solved: a sticky problem

PUBLISHED: 15:48 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 12 August 2010

STUDENTS were visited by an eco-designer who has come up with an ingenious way of solving the problem of dropped chewing gum.

STUDENTS were visited by an eco-designer who has come up with an ingenious way of solving the problem of dropped chewing gum.

Young people from Orpington College, in The Walnuts, High Street, attended a talk by Anna Bullus, last Friday. She has been recycling used chewing gum and making it into art and furniture.

It is placed in pink "gumdrop bins" and, when full, taken from the wall by students and collected by Ms Bullus.

Student Aaron Barnstone said: "You can make three new bins out of one recycled gumdrop bin. That's pretty cool."

The youngsters passed the squeezeable bins around the class as Ms Bullus told them about her life as a product designer.

She has recently turned down an offer from television show Dragon's Den because they wanted more of her business than she was prepared to part with.

The idea for her visit to students came from a member of staff who saw the product at London's Design Museum. Samantha Berwick, who works in the marketing department, said: "I was with my daughter when I saw Anna's gumdrop bin. It struck me as a great idea, and I decided to get in touch with her. We'd recently had a cleaning team into the college to remove dropped gum. It took ages, and required powerful cleaning agents.

"The gumdrop bin seemed a much cheaper and more eco-friendly solution. We hope Anna's bins will help keep our newly-refurbished campus clean and gum-free."

Next year students will take part in the UK's first major pilot scheme for the recycling of gum.

A spokesperson for Orpington College said: "Discarded gum on the forecourt outside the college has been a big problem. It will be great to have such an eco-friendly solution to this sticky problem, especially with the opening of the multi-million pound new build.

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