What sponges are best for the environment?
Are there biodegradable sponges? What is an eco sponge? What are eco sponges made of?
If you’re on a mission to get things looking a bit more sustainable (and a bit less single-use heavy) under your sink, the sea of plastic bottles is definitely the biggest issue to tackle. But there are lots of other simple switches that can help you clean up your cleaning with just a few clicks. One of these easy changes is to switch to a more eco friendly washing up tool. Whether you’re a big fan of a brush or a sucker for a scourer, there are loads of options out there and today, we’re going to give you the lo-down on sustainable sponges.
WHY ARE PLASTIC SPONGES BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
The classic green and yellow sponge, that I’m sure we’ve all had by our sink at one point or another, is made from synthetic plastic fibres. This means that every time they’re used they’re shedding sneaky microplastics right down the sink, before ending up in landfill and taking hundreds of years to break down. And as they’re meant to be chucked into landfill after just 2 weeks of use (although I’ve definitely kept some for longer… and am now feeling pretty gross about it…) the UK gets through a shed load of them. Over 400 million per year – pretty bonkers.
WHAT IS AN ECO SPONGE?
In our books, to make a sponge that’s can be used in the same way as a traditional plastic sponge but is made from plants (not from animals - like a natural sea sponge), can be harvested sustainably, is completely plastic-free, and is fully biodegradable (or easily compostable).
I have a feeling you might be asking yourself – what can I use instead? Which sponges are best for the environment? And the good news is that there are tonnes of alternatives.
WHAT ARE ECO SPONGES MADE OF?
Loofahs are one great alternative. Although they’re best known for scrubbing up your skin, they also work wonders on your washing up. And because they come straight from a plant in the cucumber family, they’re 100% biodegradable. You can literally just bury it underground – what a result.
If you’re into a wider, more pad-like cloth, bamboo or hemp can be a great solution. They have great absorbency, a mega long lifespan, and most importantly - have that great scrubbing ability.
Last but VERY much not least is cellulose sponges, like our Spongethings. Cellulose sponges are usually made from wood pulp with a little bit of some other fibres, like hemp or cotton, added in. The cellulose comes from These arrive dried out and cracker-like, but expand like magic when run under the tap. And no fancy equipment required to dispose of them, just pop them in your compost bin and your work is done.