That Film Coating On Dishwasher Tablets..
On majority eco-friendly dishwasher tablets or soluble detergent pods you will see a note that each tablet/pod is individually wrapped in PVA. Does it really dessolve?
Usually you don't need to take the film off as it supposed to dissolve in the water and to fully biodegrade.
Nevertheless the most common question we get is "Does dishwasher tablet film is really biodegradable and does it degrade into microplastic?".
The simple answer is no. And if you are up for some chemistry here is why.
Whats is PVA?
PVA or Polyvinyl alcohol (also known as PVOH or PVAl) is a solid substance of organic etymology. PVA starts as ethylene. Then, oxygen and acetic acid (or vinegar when it’s diluted) turn the ethylene into vinyl acetate — which is then dissolved into alcohol to become Polyvinyl Alcohol.
Polyvinyl alcohol is effective in film formation, emulsification and adhesive properties. It is odourless, non-toxic and resistant to fats, oils and solvents.
Where is Polyvinyl alcohol used?
PVA is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. In combination with various fillers, PVC-based films can be used in the food industry - as the basis of edible packaging.
PVA is used in sizing agents that give greater strength to textile threads and make paper more resistant to oils and fats. Therefor its great for eco-friendly grease proof paper used in food takeaways.
It is also used as a component in adhesives and emulsifiers, as a water-soluble protective film, and as a starting material for the preparation of other resins.
PVA is great in arts. It finds application in the conservation of iconic ancient exhibits. With its help, preventive gluing is carried out.
Does Polyvinyl Alcohol degrade into microplastics?
There is definitely a lot of misinformation out there. An independent German study (Degruyter, March 2021) concludes that the PVA does NOT contribute to the planet's micro-plastics issue.
According to the study:
- PVA casing dissolves into a non-harmful monomer (i.e., NOT microplastics)
- The study concludes that PVA does NOT meet any of the definitions of micro-plastic: 1) it is not micro- or nano-sized; 2) it is highly water-soluble; 3) it is biodegradable in the environmental condition where it is discharged (i.e., the bottle you saved from landfill).
Is Polyvinyl Alcohol the same as Polyvinyl Acetat?
Nope! It’s easy to confuse the different polyvinyl polymers, especially since they all go by PVA. Polyvinyl acetate (aka PVA, PVAc) is used in wood glue. Polyvinyl chloride is a poisonous plastic.
Which products have coating made of PVA?
We stock a range of soluble detergents that are totally harmless for the ecosystem.
Each pod in Ocean Saver cleaning detergents range is made of PVA film which is dissolvable and fully biodegrade as we spoke above.
All range of MACK cleaning biopods uses PVA as filming.
Our Ecoleaf Dishwasher tablets are also completely eco-friendly and don't cause environmental harm.