The article will explain if body wax is biodegradable or not. Other details covered would include:
- Is body wax compostable?
- Is body wax use sustainable?
- What are the alternatives? Are they eco-friendly?
- What is the most sustainable body wax?
- Is it okay if body wax goes down the drain?
Is body wax actually biodegradable?
In order to build a stance on the biodegradability of body wax, it is essential to delve deep into the materials that may be used to make body wax.
As it turns out, body wax may be made with three major ingredients. These include:
- Plant-based ingredients
- Animal-based ingredients
Body wax made from animal-based or plant-based ingredients will be biodegradable but body wax made from petroleum will not be biodegradable because it is not natural let alone organic.
In order for a material or substance to be biodegradable, it must have organic inside which can be feasted and ingested by the microbes. However, in the case of body wax made from petroleum, that organic inside is missing and that is why it can not be given the status of being biodegradable.
However, body waxes made from animal and plant sources will have the necessary biological and organic inside that can be used, optimised, and ingested by the microbes hence degrading it into simpler material that can become a part of nature again.
Can you compost wax?
Yes, waxes can be composted as long as waxes are made from natural and organic sources and there is no synthetic layering to achieve any utilitarian advantages or benefits.
The question if something can be composted or not goes hand-in-hand with the biodegradation question because the trend is that if something is biodegradable, it must be compostable too as biodegradation and composting are very similar in nature.
Many people think that composting is something that only professionals can do. However, this is not true. Composting is very similar to gardening and it is very clear that gardening is not only done by professionals.
Just as people can do gardening for the sake of fun and personal preference, you can also do composting which will not only benefit you but also your and everyone’s environment.
As it turns out, composting is very advantageous as the compost can be used for a variety of applications such as use as fertiliser to improve the organic content and water retention profiles.
Let us, therefore, discuss some of the steps that you can follow to compost stuff at home including waxes.
- Select a suitable place
- Make a compost heap of alternate layers
- The layers should be of green and brown matter that will act as carbon and nitrogen source
- Aerate and constantly mix the heap after every 5 days
- Wait for some months (4-8)
- Once the compost is ready, use it as a natural fertiliser
Is using body wax a sustainable hair removal method?
The main reason why body waxes are used is to remove the small hair that appears on the skin as it can be disliked by many. The use of body waxes to remove hair is not only limited to females but males as well.
However, one question that needs to be shed light on is that is using body waxes is a sustainable way to remove hair. As it turns out, the other options available include:
- Shaving razors (plastic & metal)
- Shaving creams
- Synthetic waxes
When it comes to shaving razors, they may be a good option but the main problem with shaving razors is that the razors need to be disposed of. When it comes to disposal, we see that razors are either made from steel or plastic. Both materials are non-biodegradable.
This serves as a downside of using razors because when you use razors, you will be in some way contributing to the waste problem and this can be hazardous to the environment.
However, one thing that needs to be mentioned is that if you need to choose razors, then it is best to prefer razors made from metals (steel or aluminium) instead of plastics as you can reuse the former better and the recycling aspect of steel razors is also better than plastic razors.
The use of shaving creams is not that encouraged with the environmental interests being kept in mind because the use of shaving creams always comes with the indirect use of synthetic chemicals that have the potential to cause harm and havoc to the environment.
The problem here again is that when shaving creams are used and washed, the creams enter the wastewater streams and the chemicals inside the creams can damage the drainage system, and septic system and also cause water pollution.
Although there is a lot of similarity between sugar waxes and synthetic waxes, the case of synthetic waxes can not be accepted in the court of the environment because of one major reason which can never be ignored.
The main problem with synthetic waxes is that these waxes are made from non-biodegradable material which again has the capacity to cause environmental degradation.
Also, when synthetic waxes are used, there will be an increase in the production of GHGs and environmental anomalies are sure to follow that include global warming, pollution, and deforestation, to name a few.
This is why, natural or sugar waxes are the best because there is no waste generation (as will be in the case of razors) and also, this is a green and water-free way to get rid of unwanted hair. The only thing that you need to ensure is that the waxes are made from natural and plant-based materials.
Which body wax is the most sustainable?
The verdict has already been given that natural body waxes are better than synthetic ones and waxes are better than razors and shaving creams.
Now the question is, out of natural waxes which is better? When it comes to that, the answer is that plant-based waxes are better than animal-based waxes.
The main reason is that animal-based waxes stem the problems of animal misuse and animal rights. Chances are that animals will be killed and harmed if waxes are made from animal sources.
Therefore, it is better to rely on plant sources and relying on plant sources will not cause these issues and will be vegan.
Is it okay if waxes go down the drain?
The exact answer actually varies because if it is about natural waxes made from plant-based or animal-based material, then it will be okay if waxes go down the drain. However, if the waxes are synthetic then it will not be that good.
The primary reason is that natural waxes are made from organic and natural materials that will not have the capacity to cause environmental problems as the constituents will be neutral, inert, and biodegradable.
However, in the case of non-natural waxes, the constituents will be non-biodegradable and possibly toxic to the drainage system and the life associated with the water facilities.
It is concluded that when it comes to waxes, there are three main types that include animal-based, plant-based and petroleum-based. The first two are biodegradable and eco-friendly while the same can not be said about the waxes made from petroleum products.
The article also discussed which waxes could be composted and what steps are involved. Details were also given about the various options when it comes to hair removal and which option is the most eco-friendly and why.
Lastly, a comparison was made between animal-based and plant-based waxes and it was also explained if waxes being poured down the drain were safe or not.
- Burton, Olivia. The most eco-friendly & sustainable hair removal options. Retrieved from: https://thegreenhubonline.com/the-most-eco-friendly-sustainable-hair-removal-options-only-if-you-want-to/
- Siegle, Lucy. (November 24, 2013). What is the most eco-friendly form of hair removal? Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/24/eco-friendly-form-hair-removal
- Greenorb. (April 25, 2021). Is wax biodegradable? Retrieved from: https://www.thinkingsustainably.com/is-wax-biodegradable/#1–is-wax-really-biodegradable–