Are Earth Choice products biodegradable? (5 reasons why Earth Choice products are biodegradable)

In this article, the biodegradability of Earth Choice products is discussed. Other related topics that are covered include:

  • What is biodegradability?
  • Why is biodegradability important?
  • What are the trends in waste generation?
  • What is Earth Choice?
  • Why are detergents and soaps harmful?
  • Are Earth Choice products biodegradable?
  • Are Earth Choice products eco-friendly?
  • FAQs

Are Earth Choice products biodegradable?

Yes, Earth Choice products indeed are biodegradable because they are made from bio-based materials. They are also eco-friendly because of the company’s green vision and mission statements.

However, Earth Choice products still have a lot of milestones to cover in order to achieve absolute eco-friendliness and carbon neutrality. 

What is biodegradability?

Biodegradability can be explained as a process of waste removal by nature. In this process, microbes break down the structures of waste produced into simpler substances. These simpler substances then can become a part of nature again. 

Biodegradability can be analogised to a huge dustbin which is made by nature. It is because nature understands the need for biodegradability. 

If there is no biodegradability, there will be waste accumulation. This waste accumulation will deteriorate the environment while also inflicting numerous medical anomalies on life. 

What are the trends in the waste generation?

The current waste generation stands at 2 billion tons which may rise up to more than 3 billion tons in the coming years. This means that an average person is responsible for 5 kgs of waste generated each day. 

More than 40% of this waste is not disposed of properly. As per studies, 44% of global waste generated is disposed of in open dumps which causes serious health and environmental issues. 

Other options through which waste can be processed are landfills, compost, incineration, and controlled landfills. 

Regardless of the management endeavours, the current waste generation is becoming increasingly impossible. If more waste is generated, there will be further mismanagement. 

On top of that, if more non-biodegradable waste is generated, it will render us entirely incapacitated to deal with the problems of waste generation and disposal. 

That is why there is an increased need to manage waste in an efficient manner. Consumerism should adopt zero waste production protocols. Recycled materials should be used more while also striving for targets such as carbon neutral, adoption of renewable resources and zero waste generation. 

What is Earth Choice?

Earth Choice is a product line from Nature Organics. Nature organics specialises in the production and manufacture of domestic commercial products. These may include detergents, dishwashing soaps, home hygiene, skin care products, and hair care products. 

As the name indicated, the product line with the title of Earth Choice asserts that the production of commercial products is done while being considerate of the environmental factor. 

With the advent of industrialisation, the production of consumer products sky-rocketed with unprecedented demands. This demand was met by the use of technology, chemicals, and science in the formation of commercial products that were of good value and budget-friendly. 

A very good example can be plastic bags which have been made in amazing scales at various levels. However, back then there was little understanding of the environmental impacts of these commercial products. 

As science developed, these effects were better understood and the realisations were jaw-dropping. In response to this, many green initiatives took place in the consumer market place and before we knew it, eco-friendliness became a brand on its own. 

Many dominant producers shifted to green production, less carbon footprint, use of recycled materials, and the utilisation of biodegradable products instead of their counterparts. 

Earth Choice is one such endeavour that makes various products such as laundry detergent, dishwashing soaps, skin care products, hair care products, and personal hygiene products. 

What makes Earth Choice stand out is that it uses recycled materials, and incorporates bio-based products (which can degrade) while also striving for the goals of carbon neutral, zero waste production and use of renewable resources instead of non-renewable resources. 

Why are detergents and soaps harmful?

It may be an important question why is the need for products like Earth Choice products? The main reason is that these products are made from chemicals that are fossil-derived. Since they source from fossil fuels, they can not degrade and may remain in the environment for hundreds of years. 

In addition, the chemicals used to make conventional soaps and detergents are very harmful and toxic to the environment. 

The ingredients that are generally used to make soap and detergents include: 

  • Cocamide DEA
  • DMDM Hydantoin 
  • Ethanolamine 
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Propylene Glycol 
  • Sodium Borate 
  • Sulphuric Acid
  • Triclosan
  • Sodium Xylene Sulfonate 

These chemicals that are generally used to manufacture dish soaps are associated and linked with a number of health and environmental issues. 

These issues may include: 

  • Aquatic toxicity 
  • Chemical releases
  • Lungs issues
  • Skin irritation 
  • Skin allergies
  • Neurological issues 
  • Cancers
  • Damage to foetus 
  • Effects on hormones
  • Neurotoxicity 

In the case of detergents, the following ingredients may be used: 

  • Alkalies 
  • Surfactants
  • Anti redospiting agents
  • Colourants
  • Catalytic enzymes 
  • Functional materials 
  • Fragrance  

Alkalis are used to neutralise the acidity so that dirt, grease and stains can be removed from the fabric without excessive effort. Alkali substances can be mild to high strengths based on the type of detergent. 

Examples of alkali substances are baking soda, borax, ammonia, trisodium phosphate, caustic soda, lye, and washing soda. These chemicals may be toxic for humans when taken up. These chemicals are also known to cause harm to the environment. 

Surfactants are one of the most important ingredients used in laundry detergents. They are responsible for the breakage of stains and the suspension of dirt. Examples may include alkyl sulphates, alkyl ethoxylate sulphates, ethers or fatty alcohol. 

These chemicals are also associated with detrimental impacts on human health and the environment and that is why care should be imparted in using laundry detergents because inapt use may reciprocate into unhealthy or even fatal circumstances. 

Some of the functional materials used in laundry detergents can be:

  • pH adjusters (to maintain the pH and neutralise) 
  • Water conditioners (for the management of hard water)
  • Optical brighteners (used as an alternative to bleach) 
  • Preservatives (to deter microbial contamination and growth) 

Enzymes are also very important components of a typical laundry detergent. Examples of enzymes used are protease, amylase, cellulase, lipase, and pectinase. All these enzymes break various dirt elements of clothes such as grease, stain or dirt. 

The use of chemical enzymes has increased the utilitarian value of laundry detergents because before more detergents were used and at specific conditions of temperatures. 

Fragrances and colourants are used to add a good scent to laundry detergents and eventually the clothes while also making the clothes’ colour quite fervent. 

Are Earth Choice products biodegradable?

Based on the current scrutiny, it can be speculated that: 

  • Natural substances are biodegradable by the action of microbes
  • Conventional detergents and soaps are made from synthetic materials which are derived from fossils. These materials have negative impacts on the environment and human health 
  • Earth Choice products, as an answer to the above problem, are made from bio-based materials which are biodegradable and also have fewer negative impacts on the environment 

Therefore, it can be concluded that Earth Choice products are biodegradable because they are sourced from plants and other natural sources. 

Are Earth Choice products eco-friendly?

It is a question of piqued curiosity whether Earth Choice products are eco-friendly as well. Usually, it is perceived that if a substance is biodegradable, it must also be eco-friendly. However, this is not the case every time. 

It is seen that many factors create a rift between biodegradability and eco-friendliness which may include: 

  • How sustainably a product is made?
  • Is it derived from plants or petroleum?
  • Is the product made from renewable resources or non-renewable resources?
  • Is the product production carbon neutral and waste free?
  • Is the product used sustainably?
  • Is the product disposed of as per environmental regulations?

These are the factors that make a product eco-friendly. In the case of our products, it is seen that they are eco-friendly but not entirely. 

The Earth Choice products are indeed made from natural materials and are biodegradable. The products also are biobased and make use of recycled material. Recycled packaging is also opted for by Earth Choice productions. 

However,  the company’s vision to be waste-free, carbon-neutral and consumptive of renewable resources has many milestones to cover, in the current context. 

Why is biodegradability important?

To better understand the importance of biodegradability, consider an analogy. Let us say that for some reason you are unable to dispose of waste generated in your home. What do you think will happen?

You may wonder if you can improvise in the situation and manage for some days. Now, imagine not being able to dispose of it for a thousand years. You will simply be rendered unable to live in your own house.

This is exactly the case with biodegradability. The earth is our home and non-biodegradable waste is the inability to dispose of waste. As a result, our planet earth is becoming unlivable day by day. 

The microbes that are responsible for the breakdown of waste into simpler substances may be fungi, algae, protozoa, bacteria, and decomposers. These microbes can break down the structure of natural products such as waste from crops, animal skin, and plant-based waste. 

However, these microbes are unable to break down the structures of man-made waste such as polymers, synthetic resins, electronic waste, hazardous waste, nuclear waste et cetera. 

Since non-biodegradable waste can not be degraded, it may remain in the system for several hundred years and cause various harmful impacts. These impacts may include: 

  • Loss of life
  • Greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Pollution
  • Global warming
  • Destruction of habitats 
  • Infiltration into the food chains 
  • Destruction of ecosystems 
  • Soil erosion 
  • Deforestation
  • Depletion of water reserves
  • Damages to the crops 

The non-biodegradable waste can also impact human health. Several impacts of non-biodegradable waste on health are: 

  • Skin allergies
  • Cancer
  • Reproductive problems 
  • Neurological problems 
  • Eye infections
  • Rashes
  • Inflammation 
  • Necrosis 
  • Organ damage 
  • Psychological impacts 

Conclusion

It is concluded that Earth Choice products indeed are biodegradable because they are made from bio-based materials. They are also eco-friendly because of the company’s green vision and mission statements.

However, Earth Choice products still have a lot of milestones to cover in order to achieve absolute eco-friendliness and carbon neutrality. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Are Earth Choice products biodegradable?

Where are Earth Choice products made?

Earth Choice product line is based in Australia. 

Are Earth Choice products chemical free?

Yes, Earth Choice products contain no enzymes, phosphates or bleaches. 

References 

  • Effendi, I., Nedi, S., & Pakpahan, R. (2017, December). Detergent disposal into our environment and its impacts on marine microbes. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (Vol. 97, No. 1, p. 012030). IOP Publishing.
  • Bajpai, D. (2007). Laundry detergents: an overview. Journal of oleo science, 56(7), 327-340.
  • Bulkeley, H., & Askins, K. (2009). Waste interfaces: biodegradable waste, municipal policy and everyday practice. Geographical Journal, 175(4), 251-260.

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