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The habit of chewing gum was first popular with the Ancient Greeks. They chewed mastic gum, A_______.
Modern chewing gum, however, originated around the 1860s in America. A substance called chicle was found in the sapodilla trees of Mexico and made a smoother, more elastic gum than previously. William Wrigley, a flour factory owner, found a way to flavor it with mint and B_______. Nowadays 90% of chewing gum is manufactured by Wrigley, and the basic process has changed little since manufacture began in 1892.
Sales of chewing gum are at record levels; last year in the UK, £ 317 million was spent on gum. This figure has risen nearly 40% in the last five years, with the sugar-free brands now making up three-quarters of the total market. Consumer analysts say it’s no longer considered just a sweet. It’s become more relevant to today’s consumer with people regarding it as a kind of two-in-one: a sweet fix and a breath-fresher at the same time. Stress relief is another factor, C_______. I’ve just heard the most incredible story about Britney Spears’ chewing gum! Apparently, she’s always spitting her chewing gum out onto the pavement and one day, D_______and decided to sell it online. . . you know, on eBay. Basically they sold her piece of chewed chewing gum by online auction! Nobody could guarantee it was real, of course, but lots of people bid for it — and in the end, it was sold for about $100. I can’t believe anyone would want chewing gum E_______— whoever that person is!
An incredible three and half billion pieces of gum are disposed of the UK every year. Better enforcement of fines has helped to reduce the problem slightly, but it is almost impossible to catch people spitting out their gum. Some areas have installed special boards F_______. Meanwhile, biodegradable gum is being developed which in the end may well be the ultimate answer to the seemingly never-ending problem of chewing gum litter.
1. someone saw her spit some out, picked up
2. although not so many gum users admit to that one
3. a resin obtained from the mastic tree
4. discarded chewing gum on the pavement
5. that’s been in someone else’s mouth
6. started making the first mass-produced gum
7. which people are invited to stick their used gum to
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