Amsterdam is chewing on revolutionary ideas

Once again, the Dutch have offered a great initiative within the field of the circular economy. Through an association of two English businesses, the municipality of Amsterdam has begun to recycle the tons of chewing gum flourishing on its pavements to make basketball shoes. Gum scented!


2 November 2018 |

In large cities, chewing gum and cigarette butts present a real challenge in terms of cleanliness, and sometimes, a real stimulant for innovation…  In Amsterdam, a company has developed a model of sports shoe with a sole that is partly made from recycled chewing gum.


The collection of waste in the city of Amsterdam had become a social problem. With the knowledge that chewing gum thrown on the pavement takes over 20 years to disintegrate, the city decided to make its citizens aware of the severity of this pollution which each year equates to 1,500 tons of waste collected by a specialised cleaning team.


As well as the Amsterdam's municipal services, the project mobilised the British company, Gumdrop and the design agency, Explicit. The production of a pair of “Gumdrop” trainers revalues one kilogram of chewing gum. To foster the public spirit, the company has installed posters inviting passers-by to stick their chewing gum in a dedicated area instead of throwing it on the ground. This makes collecting the precious chewing gum significantly easier!


Tourists and residents in Amsterdam can purchase these trainers for a price of € 199. There are various colours available: black, red or sweet pink, and they still smell sweet! The experience of recycling contaminating materials for a pair of trainers has a precedent. In 2016, Adidas developed trainers using recycled fishing nets.

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