Spanish lawmakers have come up with an ingenious way to save local governments money: Make chewing gum less sticky. Local councils have apparently been complaining that gummed-up sidewalks cost too much to scrub, so the Spanish cabinet has ruled that all gum in the country must now use a less-sticky copolymer of vinyl acetate and vinyl laurate as a base, the Guardian reports.
“It sticks less, which makes cleaning easier,” the Spanish health ministry explains. There’s just one little problem: Critics say that vinyl acetate isn’t actually safe. “Laboratory animal studies have found long-term exposure to vinyl acetate can cause a carcinogenic response,” the US-based Vinyl Acetate Council conceded, though it said this only occurred at “concentrations well above recommended exposure levels.” (Read more Spain stories.)