Scientists have developed a non-stick chewing gum that can be easily removed from pavements, shoes and clothes.
The new gum, the result of polymer research at the University of Bristol, could be launched commercially in 2008, its developers said on Friday.
If it catches on, the product will solve a major headache for local authorities around the world.
"The advantage of our Clean Gum is that it has a great taste, it is easy to remove and has the potential to be environmentally degradable," said Terence Cosgrove, a professor of chemistry who helped found a company called Revolymer to commercialize the technology.
Today"s chewing gums are made from synthetic latex, which is resistant to the weather and is strongly adhesive. The new gum adds a special polymer to modify its properties, making it far less sticky.
In two street trials, leading commercial gums remained stuck to the pavement three out or four times, while Clean Gum came away naturally in all cases, Revolymer said.