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Are detergent pods really Biodegradable?

2023-06-16

Pods are a practical alternative to detergent bottles or boxes. The highly concentrated detergent and softener dissolve in the wash, contains soap, and are packaged in water-soluble pouches and placed at the washer's bottom before the clothes are added. Laundry pods contain concentrated detergent made of surfactants, which aid in washing clothes by removing dirt.

Detergent pods are the ultimate when it comes to laundry day. They are simple to use, lightweight to transport, take up little space in storage, and include a pre-measured amount of detergent, removing the risk of overdoing your laundry.

Detergent Pods and Biodegradation

Users have adopted laundry pods as their preferred option. Many people have used pre-measured detergent pods that dissolve in the machine instead of regular liquid or powder detergent because they adore how convenient and mess-free they are. According to estimates, more than 20 billion plastic laundry and dishwasher pods are used annually.

When something is described as biodegradable, it involves the breakdown (decomposition)  of organic material by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi while being flushed into the environment, and most people assume that it is a natural process.

A research on the laundry sector done by Sarah Paiji Yoo, a Blueland co-founder, reveals that plastic polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which is not biodegradable, is used to make the film wrapping the laundry pods, meaning they cannot decompose.

According to Sarah, since PVA is a polymer, it is by definition, plastic and is made synthetically from petroleum. Polyvinyl alcohol is used to make the detergent-dispensing pods, which removes the need for plastic containers and releases the correct amount of detergent.

Why Detergent Pods Might be Harmful to the Environment

Detergent laundry pods are destructive to the environment because they contain a dangerous chemical combination. Because of how long the effects of the chemicals last, they are harmful to you and your family.

According to Charles Rolsky, Ph.D., of the Biodesign Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Material and Manufacturing at Arizona State University. It takes considerable time for bigger plastic objects (macroplastics) to decompose into microplastics (less than 5 mm). These pods dissolve into a plastic solution, the soon they come into contact with water.

This plastic solution can easily enter ecosystems outside of those treated by traditional water systems. These are the primary causes of concern regarding the pollution caused by these detergent pods. PVA pods are frequently promoted as "biodegradable," but Arizona State University researchers say there isn't enough evidence to support their "eco-friendly" claims. Their approach is to hold marketers responsible and encourage them to start saying things accurately.

Disposal of detergent pods in landfills can result in their decomposition taking hundreds of years. It can release dangerous chemicals into the groundwater and soil in landfills. They can potentially produce hazardous gases like methane, which accelerate climate change.

Detergent pods may also find their way into streams, harming wildlife and contaminating the water supply. It produces chemicals as they disintegrate in water, which can harm aquatic life. The substances can find their way into drinking water sources, where they may endanger human health.

Amidst all these shortcomings, Polyva uses eco-friendly formulas to produce degradable Laundry pods. The product features for Polyva detergent pods are as follows:

· Good water solubility completely dissolves with no residue.

· Good mechanical property and heat sealing ability, strong load bearing.

· Good extensibility and meet the packaging need of different shapes.

· Good weather resistance can be typically used in a place with humidity under 80%.

· Green Eco-friendly material, no toxic substance, fully degrade in nature.

Conclusion

Depending on the particular brand and product, some laundry detergent pods chemicals are safe, while others may not be. Contrary to what some people may believe, PVA does not biodegrade as quickly. In reality, it degrades terribly in the ocean and on streams.

Laundry pods' biodegradability relies on whether all of its constituent parts are biodegradable, although, in general, they don't seem to be. The biodegradability of acrylic acid polymers, another typical component of laundry pods, is rated as very low, and some research suggests that it may be partially destroyed by specific microbes.


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