In “Dark Side of the Chew,” filmmaker Andrew Nisker examines the impact of chewing gum on our culture, our health, our economy, and the environment.
Premiering on TVO in Canada, the film has also been accompanied by an iOS application – the GumShoe Map app. Nisker said that by using the app, users are able to become part of a global community of citizens who will use the app to quantify gum pollution throughout the world.
Nisker said to The Atlantic that he was inspired to make the film when he read that chewing gum is the second most common form of litter (cigarette butts are number one at 1.7 billion pounds per year). In order to learn more about the economics of chewing gum, he decided to research both its history and present-day economics: he discovered that chewing gum dates back thousands of years and that cleaning up its mess today costs millions of dollars.
In the U.S., it is likely that property owners will bear the majority of these costs.
“Once we get people to see how bad the situation is, then we can get people to start thinking about — well, maybe I shouldn’t be throwing that gum on the ground, it’s affecting the environment, I should be disposing of that properly,” Nisker said in a 2014 CBC interview.
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