Is Elmer’s glue biodegradable? ( 5 reasons why it is safe to use)

This blog post will answer the question, “is Elmer’s glue biodegradable?” And also cover topics such as:

  • Other common names for Elmer’s glue.
  • Uses of Elmer’s glue.
  • Components of Elmer’s glue.
  • Definition of biodegradation.
  • Why Elmer’s glue is biodegradable.
  • Elmer’s glue packaging.
  • Non-toxicity of Elmer’s glue.
  • Eco-friendliness of Elmer’s glue.

Is Elmer’s glue biodegradable?

Yes, Elmer’s glue is biodegradable. Elmer’s glue is made up of components that can easily break down into simpler non-harmful components.

What are the uses of Elmer’s glue?

It is used for various purposes which include:

  • Removing sliver from fingers.
  • Removing frays from shoelaces and belts.
  • Covering the opened parts of pruned plants.
  • Fixing cracking or chipping boards.
  • Filling small holes in the wall.
  • Securing cloth buttons.
  • Fixing loose screws.

Removing sliver from fingers.

  • Apply the glue to the finger and let it dry.
  •  After drying, peel off the glue.

Removing frays from shoelaces and belts.

  • Apply the glue to the frayed end of the belt or shoelaces. 
  • Let the glue dry together with the frays.

Covering the opened parts of pruned plants.

Pruning leaves plants with open parts that can expose them to pests that can cause diseases.

Covering the parts is essential to protect the plant.

  • On the open parts, apply Elmer’s glue.
  • Let it dry to form a cover on the parts.

Fixing cracking or chipping boards.

  • On the cracking or chipping parts, apply Elmer’s glue.
  • Let it dry to hold the board together.

Filling small holes in the wall.

  • Fill the holes with Elmer’s glue.
  • Let the glue dry, filling the holes.

Securing cloth buttons.

  • Apply Elmer’s glue on the top part of the buttons, on the thread.
  • Let the glue dry, which will hold the button in place.

Fixing loose screws

  • Fill the screw hole with cotton wool pasted with Elmer’s glue.
  • Let it dry for 24 hours.
  • Fix the screw to the sizeable hole.

What are other names for Elmer’s glue?

  • Wood glue.
  • PVA glue.
  • White glue.
  • School glue.

What are the components of Elmer’s glue?

  • Plant products, specifically American-grown corn.
  • Polyvinyl acetate.
  • Polyvinyl alcohol.
  • Propylene glycol.

What is biodegradation?

Biodegradation is the natural breakdown of organic compounds into smaller molecules that are not harmful to the environment.

The process is carried out by biotic and abiotic factors which include:

  • Bacteria.
  • Fungi.
  • Temperature.
  • Water.

Bacteria.

Bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Mycobacterium, and bacillus will break large compounds into small molecules for their biological uses.

Fungi.

Molds, mushrooms, yeast, and other types of fungi break down organic matter into smaller usable molecules.

Temperature.

Temperature causes the expansion and contraction of organic matter, causing stress that eventually results in stress and the breakdown of the matter into small molecules.

Water.

When water carries organic matter, it breaks it down into smaller molecules that are easily acted upon by bacteria and fungi.

What are the steps for biodegradation?

It occurs in 3 distinct steps:

  • Biodeterioration.
  • Bio-Fragmentation.
  • Assimilation.

Biodeterioration.

This is the mechanical breakdown of materials into smaller particles by sunlight, temperature, and water.

Bio-fragmentation.

This is the natural breakdown by living organisms such as bacteria and fungi to produce carbon dioxide, water, and smaller biomass.

The molecules that break down in this step are the products of the previous stage of biodeterioration.

The process can occur:

  • aerobically (in presence of oxygen) to produce carbon dioxide, water, and smaller biomass.
  • anaerobically (in absence of oxygen) to produce methane gas, carbon dioxide, water, and smaller biomass.

Assimilation.

The small particles produced by biodeterioration and bio-fragmentation are then taken up (assimilated) by bacteria and fungi to be used in their biological system.

Why is Elmer’s glue biodegradable?

It is biodegradable because it is made up of organic components.

Biodegradation is the natural breakdown of organic compounds into smaller particles that are not harmful to the environment.

The components of Elmer’s glue consist mainly of organic compounds which include:

  • American-grown corn.
  • Polyvinyl acetate.
  • Polyvinyl alcohol.
  • Propylene glycol.

These organic compounds are broken down by fungi and bacteria to form 

  • acetic acid. 
  • hydrogen.
  •  carbon dioxide.
  •  water.
  •  methane.
  • Energy in the form of heat.

The products of biodegradation depend on the type of breakdown, whether aerobic or anaerobic. 

The compounds are assimilated into the biological systems of fungi and bacteria and used as a source of energy.

What are the factors affecting Elmer’s glue biodegradation?

  • Light.
  • Water.
  • Components.
  • Temperature.

Light.

Bacteria and fungi work best at certain wavelengths of light. 

When the light wavelengths are optimum, the speed of biodegradation is hastened.

Low light wavelengths inactivate bacteria and fungi, as a result, the biodegradation rate lowers.

Water.

Elmer’s glue is easily washed away by water. This results in the breakdown of its components by water.

The smaller components are easily worked upon by the bacteria and fungi.

Components.

The concentration of components of Elmer’s glue will determine the rate of biodegradation.

The higher the concentration, the longer it will take to break down.

Temperature.

Temperature affects the rate of biodeterioration.

The higher the temperature, the higher the rate of biodeterioration (mechanical breakdown)

Temperature also affects the activities of bacteria and fungi. 

At optimum temperature, the rate of bacterial and fungal bio-fragmentation increases.

Low temperatures will reduce their activities hence reducing the rate of bio-fragmentation.

Is Elmer’s glue eco-friendly?

Yes, it is eco-friendly because it doesn’t contain any chemicals harmful to the environment.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, an eco-friendly substance is that which doesn’t pose any threat to the environment.

All the components in Elmer’s glue are naturally broken down into simpler molecules that do not pollute the environment.

This underlines one of the major advantages of using Elmer’s glue.

Is Elmer’s glue bottle recyclable?

Yes, they are. They are made from 30 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

The label also has a 25 percent recyclable paper that is printed with biodegradable, soy-based ink.

Elmer’s recycling program helps students and teachers to recycle sticks and glue bottles.

The program rewards teachers and students who take part in this environment conserving practice.

Is Elmer’s glue non-toxic?

According to a study, Elmer’s glue is not toxic to the user or the environment.

Toxicity is the quality of being poisonous or harmful to the user or the environment.

Elmer’s glue is made from 99 percent natural products, specifically American-grown corn which is non-toxic.

It is not acid-based, therefore, it can not cause any irritation to the user.

Is Elmer’s glue compostable?

Yes, it is compostable. 

This is because it is made from natural components which are readily acted on by the fungi and bacteria.

Composting is the decaying of organic matter by bacteria, yeast, mushrooms, and other fungal microbes. 

So the next time you’re making a compost pile, don’t feel guilty when you add Elmer’s glue to the pile.

What are the advantages of using Elmer’s glue?

The advantages include:

  • It does not produce unpleasant smells when used in or outside the house.
  • It can easily be wiped out by the use of water.
  • It dries clear.
  • It has recyclable packaging.
  • Its label is made from 25 percent recycled paper.
  • It is made from over 90 percent natural components.
  • Bottles are made from post-consumer recycled materials.
  • It has a wide variety of uses, from schools, and businesses to home uses.
  • It is non-toxic to the user and the environment.
  • It is cheap as compared to other types of glue.

What are the disadvantages of using Elmer’s glue?

The disadvantages include:

  • It is easily broken down by bacteria and fungi, hence its shelf life is 1 to 3 years.
  • It should not freeze because its main components will break up, making it useless.
  • It takes 24 hours for the glue to be effective.
  • It is not entirely waterproof.

Conclusion.

This article has answered the question of whether Elmer’s glue is biodegradable.

Elmer’s glue is safe to use because it does not pose any threat to the user or the environment.

It has a wide range of uses, from schools to businesses and homes.

Elmer’s glue is eco-friendly since its main components are natural plant products and can easily be broken down.

Biodegradation of Elmer’s glue is done by abiotic and biotic factors such as water, temperature, bacteria, and fungi.

You can leave your comments or questions in the space below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is Elmer’s glue biodegradable?

Is Elmer’s glue biodegradable?

Elmer’s glue is biodegradable because it is made from 99% natural products.

Is Elmer’s glue environmentally friendly?

It is environmentally friendly because it is made up of natural products which do not have any harmful effects on the environment.

What is Elmer’s glue made of?

Elmer’s glue is made from 99% plant products, specifically American-grown corn.

Citations.

Elliott, Stuart (April 5, 2010). “New Glue for You? True”. The New York Times.

Retrieved from:

Yasaman Delaviz, Yoav Finer, J Paul Santerre., et al (2014, Jan 30).Biodegradation of resin composites and adhesives by oral bacteria and saliva: A rationale for new material designs that consider the clinical environment and treatment challenges. (1):16-32.

doi: 10.1016/j.dental.2013.08.201.

Greenorb (November 19, 2021). Is Elmer’s glue biodegradable?.

Retrieved from:

 

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