The article will discuss the biodegradability of deodorants while also covering topics such as:
- Are deodorants eco-friendly?
- Can deodorants be recycled?
- What are the green steps that you can take?
Are deodorants biodegradable?
Deodorants usually are not biodegradable because deodorants are made from synthetic chemicals that are not natural let alone organic. More than that, deodorants come in either plastic or aluminium packaging. Both materials are not biodegradable.
Biodegradability can be introduced as the breakdown that is caused by the action of microbes so that the waste may be broken down into simpler materials in a way that there is no build-up of waste in any way.
Biodegradation holds importance because if there is no biodegradation, there will be waste accumulation which will negatively affect the environment and the people.
For a material to be biodegradable, it must be made from natural materials and must have organic content so that the microbes can feast on the organic content while in return degrading it.
Can deodorants be recycled?
Yes, deodorants can be recycled. When something is non-biodegradable, the ultimate question that naturally follows is that can the material be recycled instead.
This is inquired because when something can not be degraded by microbes, the next best thing is to recycle it because it will also lead to no waste.
Fortunately, in this case, there is good news because deodorant bottles come either in plastic material or the bottles are made from aluminium. Both materials can be recycled.
However, the question that still remains is which is better? In terms of the recycling context, aluminium bottles or tubes are better because the recycling feasibility of aluminium is much more as compared to plastic bottles.
As per claims, it is asserted that aluminium can be recycled as many times as liked and there would be no compromise on the quality. However, this facility can not be enjoyed in the case of plastic bottles. Although plastic can also be recycled, the recycling of plastics is a bit more technical as compared to the recycling of aluminium.
Let us now discuss the steps or the points that you need to be mindful of in order to recycle deodorants. For this, consider the following considerations:
- Dispose of the deodorant in recycling cans
- Contact the local recycling centres and waste collection programs
- Contact third-party recycling facilities, if there is no local recycling program available in your locality. You may take the aid of sites such as the Environmental Protection Agency
Are deodorants eco-friendly?
No, deodorants can not be given the status of being eco-friendly because of certain reasons that will be elucidated and shed light upon in the proceeding passages.
The general rule of thumb is that when materials are non-natural, synthetic and do not contain organic material, they are also unlikely to be eco-friendly. The same trend is observed in this case as well.
As regards the reasons why deodorants are claimed to be not eco-friendly, the reasons can be bracketed into the following points:
- Water pollution
- Air pollution
- Waste accumulation
Let us discuss all these points in greater detail.
Many deodorants contain chemicals such as triclosan and other related chemicals. What happens is that when these chemicals are washed off when you take shower, the chemicals enter the wastewater streams.
The chemicals are eventually drained into the water bodies such as lakes, streams and even the marine environment. The major problem is that when these chemicals enter the water bodies, there are degradative effects observed that include aquatic toxicity, change in water biology and chemistry, and degradative effects on aquatic life.
Another reason why deodorants can not be given the status of being eco-friendly is that deodorants also result in the release of harmful gases or fumes that cause air pollution.
When deodorants are sprayed, there is a release of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that result in degradative environmental effects such as the formation of ground-level ozone and also the formation of smog.
Smog, as it is said, is a major and eminent environmental threat that is a big concern for many developing nations such as India or Pakistan.
Another reason why deodorants can not be given the status of being eco-friendly is that deodorants come in non-biodegradable plastic or aluminium bottles that can not be degraded by the action of microbes.
Therefore, when deodorants are used, there is a formation of non-biodegradable waste that takes up space in landfills, which is also bad for the environment.
What can you do to save the environment?
As it has been established that deodorants are not biodegradable and also can not be given the status of being non-biodegradable; the question that remains is what can you do to save the environment?
In this section, we will discuss some of the steps and actions that can be taken to make sure that the environment is benefited in the best of ways:
- Avoid traditional brands that contain VOCs and CFCs
- Preferring fragrance-free deodorants
- Reducing deodorant use
- Opting plastic-free deodorants
- Preferring eco-friendly deodorant brands
Avoiding deodorants with VOCs and CFCs
One of the things that you can do is to avoid deodorants that contain VOCs and CFCs. It has been explained that deodorants contribute to air pollution because they contain VOCs and CFCs. Both are air pollutants that contribute greatly to environmental hazards such as ozone depletion, global warming et cetera.
Therefore, it is essential to prefer brands and producers that avoid the use of air pollutants.
Preferring fragrance-free deodorants
When buying deodorants, it is essential to prefer deodorants that are fragrance-free because if there’s fragrance, there will be a use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that will contribute to air pollution such as smog or production of ground-level ozone.
Reducing deodorant use
If you are careful and keen on your health and personal hygiene, then you do not really need to use deodorants excessively. Limiting the use of deodorants will also help the environment because environmental anomalies such as water pollution, air pollution, and waste generation will be reduced.
Preferring plastic free packaging
When it comes to deodorants, there are two options that are commonly available. One is the plastic packaging and the other is the aluminium packaging. Although both materials are not biodegradable, when it comes to recycling, aluminium is way better than plastic because it is more easily and readily recycled.
Therefore, a more sustainable choice would be to prefer deodorants that are made up of aluminium material rather than plastic material.
Prefer eco-friendly options (7 eco-friendly brands)
Another good thing that you can do is to prefer eco-friendly and sustainable deodorant brands such as:
- No Pong
- Each & Every
- Hammond Herbs
- Meow Meow Tweet
- Fat & the moon
- Pack & leaf
It is concluded that deodorants are not biodegradable as deodorants are made from synthetic chemicals that are not natural let alone organic. More than that, deodorants come in either plastic or aluminium packaging. Both materials are not biodegradable.
Deodorants can not be given the status of being eco-friendly because of certain reasons that can be bracketed into the following points:
- Water pollution
- Air pollution
- Waste accumulation
The article also discussed various ways by which you can play your role in alleviating the environmental problems caused by the use of deodorants that include preferring eco-friendly brands, reducing deodorant use, and avoiding deodorants with CFCs and VOCs.
- 15 Zero Waste Deodorants For Plastic-Free Performance. Retrieved from: https://www.sustainablejungle.com/best-of-sustainable-beauty/zero-waste-deodorant-ideas/
- Tayal, Akita. Is deodorant eco-friendly? Retrieved from: https://livelywatt.com/is-deodorant-eco-friendly/
- Maida, Angela. (May 11, 2020). Why Most Deodorants Are Bad for the Environment? Retrieved from: https://islanddeodorant.com/blogs/news/why-deodorants-are-bad-for-the-environment
- Chan, Emily. (September 16, 2020).4 ways to make sure your deodorant is eco-friendly. Retrieved from: https://www.vogue.in/wellness/content/4-ways-to-make-sure-your-deodorant-is-eco-friendly