So hopefully by now, you’ve made a bunch of eco-friendly swaps? You’ve stopped buying plastic bottles, you’ve invested in a coffee keep cup. You’ve bought tablet-based cleaning sprays and banned scrubs with microbeads from your home. You’ve even invested in some metal-straws after seeing the video of that turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose.
However, there is one simple swap you can make alongside all of these - sponges. Those innocent sponges you use to keep your house looking in tiptop shape is, unfortunately, probably made of virgin plastic and can’t be recycled. While they are not single-use, they are limited-use and are thrown away very regularly. They are just so cheap!
We ran a survey here at Seep and found that on average people in the UK change their sponge at least once every month, with some changing them after every use [eye pop emoji]. Based on our quick maths, this roughly works out to around 600 million sponges being thrown away in the UK each year and that’s only from domestic use. So, imagine that being repeated across lots of different countries and in businesses too. That’s a whole lot of sponges!
Are sponges plastic-free?
Common sponges found in the supermarket are made with polyurethane, a petroleum-based material. This means, along with releasing micro-plastics into the environment, those innocent looking sponges are made from oil-based plastics too. Yuck! These types of sponges can’t be recycled so it means when you throw them away they will pollute our oceans for years and years to come, ultimately making its way into our own food and water.
The ingredient list gets seemingly worse in that sponges that promise antibacterial benefits are usually treated with toxic chemicals like triclosan, a pesticide that’s been linked to cancer and skin irritation. This chemical is also toxic to most marine life and wreaks havoc on the environment.
How do you find alternatives?
Luckily, there are heaps of natural and plastic-free alternatives to sponges. Using materials like loofah, cellulose and wood pulp, amongst others meaning you can finally stop buying the nasty, plastic-filled ones we all know.
But wait? What exactly IS loofah (sometimes referred to as luffa?). Contrary to popular belief all-natural loofah is not made from sea sponge or dried coral. It is actually made from a cucumber shaped plant found in tropical climates
Here at Seep, our natural cellulose sponge and scourer made from loofah fibres is:
- 100% plastic-free and does not degrade into micro-plastics
- 100% compostable and can either be composted at home or in an industrial composter
Shop our compostable and plastic-free sponges right here at Seep.