It's under your movie seat and glued to every sidewalk: someone else's used-up chewing gum.
But relief may be in sight. This week, researchers say they'll unwrap a non-stick, easy-to-remove version of chewing gum at the BA Festival of Science in York, England.
Clean Gum can be easily removed from shoes, clothes, hair and sidewalks, and preliminary tests indicate that it degrades naturally in water, according to Revolymer, a company linked with the University of Bristol.
Two trials found that leading commercial gums stuck to pavements three out of four times while the Clean Gum was removed within 24 hours by "natural events."
"The basis of our technology is to add an amphiphilic polymer to a modified chewing gum formulation which alters the interfacial properties of the discarded gum cuds, making them less adhesive to most common surfaces," Terence Cosgrove, chief scientific officer of Revolymer, said in a prepared statement.
The company plans to begin selling the gum in 2008.