Is Air Dry clay biodegradable?  (5 reasons why Air Dry clay is eco-friendly)

This article covers some important aspects of Air Dry clay and answers the following questions:

  • Is Air Dry clay biodegradable?
  • Is it better than polymer clay?
  • Is it a sustainable or eco-friendly product?
  • Is it durable?
  • How can you dispose of it?
  • Is Air Dry clay sustainable?

Is Air Dry clay biodegradable?

Air Dry clay is biodegradable because it is made of natural ingredients which include gypsum, cellulose fibres, sand, and plaster.

Air Dry clay is not waterproof. If water is added to a previously existing shape, then it can be converted to the raw clay. Which can be reused. So Air Dry clay is durable and reusable.

Polymer clay is made up of PVC which requires material extraction, heating, and conversion which will require large quantities of energy. Air Dry clay is a simpler product of natural ingredients. Which require less energy and water usage. Air Dry clay has more benefits than polymer clay. 

Air Dry clay is a much greener option than polymer clay because it does not harm human society and the environment (air, water, soil) in any way. It can be entitled as a green product. It is easy to handle and uses less or no energy. Requires no specific equipment for its operation. Air Dry clay is termed an eco-friendly product.

What is Air Dry clay and how is it different from normal clay?

As its name suggests it is a type of clay which can be used for several purposes. Air Dry clay is made up of natural ingredients which include gypsum, cellulose fibres, sand, and plaster. The composition of Air Dry clay depends upon the type of clay and the type of brand. It can vary according to to use. 

Air Dry clay can solidify at room temperature so there is no need for specific oven baking at high temperatures. It will save energy and will not produce any harmful substances. It is easy to use and does not require any special equipment. Air Dry clay is used for playing, making art pieces, making jewellery and for making any desired shapes. 

Air Dry clay is different from other clay types as it can be dried out at room temperature because it is a porous material. While regular clay needs oven baking at specific temperatures for drying. Air Dry clay is beneficial over normal clay as it is not waterproof which means that it can be reshaped.

Is Air Dry clay biodegradable? 

A material which can be degraded by the action of microorganisms is considered biodegradable. Microorganisms (algae, bacteria, fungi) use special chemical and biological mechanisms to degrade a substance. These processes do not produce any harmful by-products. It will not release any toxic substance into soil, water and air. 

Air Dry clay is made up of natural ingredients. This means that these materials are susceptible to biological degradation. By degrading such materials micro-organisms will get nutritional benefits in return. Air Dry clay is biodegradable as it is made primarily of cellulose fibres. It provides optimum conditions for the action of microorganisms. 

By definition, biodegradability is the ability to be degraded by the action of microbes and by the facilitation of external factors such as temperature, aeration, pressure et cetera. 

It is an important factor to assess the sustainability or eco-friendliness of any product or material. If a product is biodegradable, then it is very likely that the product is made from natural materials. 

Natural materials like plant-based or animal-based materials have very little impact on the environment as compared to non-natural materials such as plastics or metals. 

Is Air Dry clay durable and reusable?

The durability of any product refers to its ability to be functional for a longer period of time while maintaining its structural integrity. Durable products will not require any excessive maintenance. 

Air Dry clay is not a complex product whose composition is not known but it is rather a simpler product which can be changed or shaped into any desirable design. It does not require any special treatment in its making like no excessive heating or addition of chemicals. 

It is made up of natural materials which are durable. Air Dry clay is not waterproof. If water is added to a previously existing shape, then it can be converted to the raw clay. Which can be reused. So Air Dry clay is durable and reusable.

This is an important point because usually it is perceived that when something is eco-friendly, there will be a compromise on the quality and the utility. However, with the evolving technology, this trend is changing incessantly. 

Air Dry clay is a common and blunt example because it is more sustainable and eco-friendly than other polymer clay and this does not compromise the quality or the utility of Air Dry clay. 

How can you dispose of Air Dry clay easily?

It is an important question to answer. Well, disposing-off Air Dry clay after use is an option but what if you could reuse it by adding some quantity of water to transform it into a raw shape? If one has a large quantity of used Air Dry clay then disposing of Air Dry clay can be considered. 

One can give Air Dry clay to any charity-based organisation which works for children. Children love to play with clay. One should contact such organisations and look if they accept this gift or not. 

One can simply throw it into the recycle bin. We already know that if the Air Dry clay is made up of natural ingredients then it will degrade biologically. However, throwing off trash cans has to be the least prioritised decision because it is a waste of the possible ways in which Air Dry clay can be reused or recycled. 

Is Air Dry clay better than polymer clay? (in environmental terms).

Polymer clay is made up of synthetic materials i.e. PVC. It does not dry at room temperature. It requires oven baking for drying out. It does become waterproof after drying. Which means that one can not reuse it by transforming it. 

On the other side, Air Dry clay can be dried out at room temperature; it does not require oven heating. It will save energy and it is not waterproof so one can transform it into any other shape and style. In order to check the environmental impacts of both types of clay we have to dig into the process of making specific types. 

Polymer clay is made up of PVC which requires material extraction, heating, and conversion which will require large quantities of energy. Air Dry clay is a simpler product of natural ingredients. Which require less energy and water usage. Air Dry clay has more benefits than polymer clay. 

Are there any ways to make Air Dry clay more sustainable?

There are many other ways to make Air Dry clay more sustainable. Do not buy new clay every time you have to use it. Reuse the clay as it is recyclable. It will not produce any waste material and ultimately save the raw materials. 

Do not add any toxic colouring chemicals to your clay. In order to get the desired colour you can use natural colours. It will save the water, soil and environment air. Air Dry clay is biodegradable. If it can not be used further you can compost it in your backyard. It will decompose by the action of microorganisms.

Be very mindful while using air-dry clay for your project. Try not to produce extra waste. Do not use extra clay for embellishments. Follow these ways in order to be more sustainable towards the environment. 

Is Air Dry clay eco-friendly? (5 reasons) 

One of the most eco-friendly clay is the one which can be degraded biologically. Eco-friendly is a material or product which can be reusable, durable, biodegradable, and recyclable. If a substance or material consists of all of these properties then it can be recognized as an eco-friendly product.

We have seen all of these properties in Air Dry clay. Air Dry clay is: 

  • Biodegradable
  • Durable
  • Reusable
  • Recyclable
  • Non-toxic 

It does not harm human society and the environment (air, water, soil) in any way. It can be entitled as a green product. It is easy to handle and uses less or no energy. Requires no specific equipment for its operation. Air Dry clay is termed an eco-friendly product.

Conclusion

It is concluded that Air Dry clay is biodegradable because it is made of natural ingredients which include gypsum, cellulose fibres, sand, and plaster.

Air Dry clay is not waterproof. If water is added to a previously existing shape, then it can be converted to the raw clay. Which can be reused. So Air Dry clay is durable and reusable.

Polymer clay is made up of PVC which requires material extraction, heating, and conversion which will require large quantities of energy. Air Dry clay is a simpler product of natural ingredients. Which require less energy and water usage. Air Dry clay has more benefits than polymer clay. 

Air Dry clay is a much greener option than polymer clay because it does not harm human society and the environment (air, water, soil) in any way. It can be entitled as a green product. It is easy to handle and uses less or no energy. Requires no specific equipment for its operation. Air Dry clay is termed an eco-friendly product.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Air dry clay biodegradable?

Is Air Dry clay better than polymer clay?

Yes, Air Dry clay is better than polymer clay because it is made of natural materials and that is why it is biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. Also, Air Dry clay does not compromise on quality and utility too. 

References:

  • Is Air Dry clay biodegradable? Retrieved from https://www.ethicallyengineered.com/is-air-dry-clay-eco-friendly/
  • The best Air Dry clay for crafts. Retrieved from https://littleredwindow.com/the-best-air-dry-clay-for-crafts/
  • Is Air Dry clay eco-friendly? Retrieved from https://www.thinkingsustainably.com/is-air-dry-clay-biodegradable/
  • Wang, D., Parlow, D., Yao, Q., & Wilkie, C. A. (2001). PVC‐clay nanocomposites: Preparation, thermal and mechanical properties. Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology, 7(4), 203-213.
  • Tokiwa, Y., Calabia, B. P., Ugwu, C. U., & Aiba, S. (2009). Biodegradability of plastics. International journal of molecular sciences, 10(9), 3722-3742.
  • Forsberg, T., Pusch, R., Yang, T., & Knutsson, S. (2017). Clay/water mixture by use of nano-sized water droplets” dry-water”. In 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ICSMGE 2017, Seoul, South Korea, 17-22 September 2017 (pp. 2367-2370). 19th ICSMGE Secretariat.

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