Wrigley's Extra Gum

overall Rating:



Katie Huston
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Mars Incorporated, the company owning Wrigley's Extra Gum has been ranked in the top 25 for worlds best workplaces for eight years in a row. This however is hard to celebrate, knowing their history in child labor and their lack of transparency. On the good side, Wrigley Gum is dentist approved and has received the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance. I think that Wrigley's Gum could do better in terms of packaging sustainability by getting rid of the foil wrappers around each piece of gum and maybe even creating refillable packages. Further, the ingredients that go into making the gum itself are not great for the environment. Natural and artificial flavorings can be composed of hundreds of chemicals. The only difference between the two is that natural flavorings are derived from plants or animals, whereas artificial flavorings are created in a lab. Both are still incredibly harmful to the environment. 

what it's made of:


Wrigley’s Extra gum is made of sorbital, gum base, glycerol, natural and artificial flavors, hydrogenated starch, hydrolysate, aspartame, mannitol, colors, etc. This gum is sugar-free and is actually the Wrigley Company’s first ever sugar-free gum product, launched in 1984. It is the first sugar free gum not to use saccharin, an artificial sweetener. It now uses the NutraSweet brand. In terms of packaging, each individual piece of gum is wrapped in foil. These pieces of gum are then placed in a cardboard box that is sealed with plastic. This type of packaging created a lot of unnecessary waste from the wrapping of individual pieces of gum. Other brands use packaging that does not require individual wrapping and therefore reduces the amount of packaging waste.

how it's made:


In terms of making the gum, the gum base first gets melted and purified. This then gets put into a mixer, where the natural and artificial sweeteners are added. Next, the gum gets rolled out and cut. Finally, comes the packaging process. All of this work is done in factories, thus creating emissions and adding to more greenhouse gases in the environment. There are three Wrigley’s factories in the US, and even more in Australia and Great Britain. Not only is Wrigley’s gum produced in factories, but it is produced in factories all over the world and therefore this involves shipping of materials and thus further contribution to higher emissions.

who makes it:


Extra Gum is owned by Mars Incorporated. On Mars Incorporated website they clearly state they have goals to become a more sustainable company. While often times it is hard to believe companies when they say this, what I liked about Mars’ website was that they had a scorecard for 2020 and 2021 that clearly stated what they had accomplished so far. This proved to me that they are not simply all talk, but are putting in efforts towards sustainability. They also have a page specifically dedicated to their diverse staff and how they are an inclusive company. While all of this seems great, but as I did more research, I found some horrible information about the company, Mars. Therefore all this information on sustainability is likely just greenwashing to make Mars Incorporated seem like a better company than it actually is. For instance, Mars Incorporated does not care where the ingredients to make their products come from and who helps obtain them, therefore in turn the company is supporting child labor. I read that the supply chains for Mars Incorporated “may be infected with the worst forms of child labor”. In addition, the company obviously does not advertise this on their product labels and thus is just greenwashing even more. Further, it makes me wonder if all the facts on their website are truly reliable.