While we clean our laundry, we can pollute the environment properly - we show what is important when choosing detergents
Source & Copyright by Freepik
Author: Katharina Healing
- detergent with Micro plastic harm the environment and people
- Numerous designations mislead consumers
- Detergents without plastic as an alternative without compromises
Microplastics from the washing machine into the sea
Detergents are available in numerous variations, fragrances and consistencies – the choice seems endless. But especially when it comes to sustainability, it is noticeable that there are big differences. Many detergents contain microplastics that end up in the sea and pose a threat to living beings. Last but not least, this cycle has significant consequences for us humans, since marine animals and plants are often on our menu.
Plastic in laundry detergent is a big problem for people and Environment. The plastic parts in products such as detergents, but also in cosmetics, shower gel, sunscreen and make-up, are microscopically small and thus get through the filter systems of sewage treatment plants. In this sense one speaks of microplastics - particles whose diameter is less than 5mm.
If the parts are contained directly in the products and end up in the sea, for example, this is referred to as primary plastic. Secondary plastic, on the other hand, refers to plastic that results from the decomposition of larger plastic products such as bags. Here are the best cosmetic products without microplastics.
Why do we need plastic-free detergents?
Detergents with plastic pose a great burden on the environment in many ways. Firstly, because plastic is mostly produced on the basis of petroleum and it is a scarce raw material. On the other hand, the microplastic particles are not biodegradable. It stays in the environment for centuries.
This pollutes water bodies, sewage sludge - the waste water from sewage treatment plants, which consists of organic and mineral substances - fields and into the air. The microplastic particles are particularly dangerous because pesticides and other toxins accumulate in them. If a fish, a mussel or any other creature absorbs this particle into its organism, it immediately poses a double risk. Tumors, physiological disorders and a higher death rate due to the microplastics and the poison have already been identified.
Microplastics in detergent hide behind confusing names
Rarely are consumers really aware that they are buying detergents that contain plastic. This is because microplastics are subject to numerous, different definitions. According to the environmental protection organizations, the following substances are classified as microplastics FEDERATION or to classify Greenpeace:
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Acrylate Crosspolymer (ACS)
- Acrylate copolymer (AC)
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyquaternium (PQ)
- Polystyrenes (PS)
- Polyurethanes (PUR)
- Polyacrylates (PA)
- Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
- Polyurethanes (PUR)
In order not to lose track of these numerous designations, there are some aids for identifying microplastics. With the app "code check" or "ToxFox" For example, you can scan the barcodes of various detergents and find out about the ingredients. The ingredients are classified in sustainability categories, their concern is highlighted and alternative products are suggested.
Detergents without plastic - alternatives to conventional detergents
Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives and also common markets to buy plastic-free detergent - including drugstores such as DM or Rossmann. For example, microplastics, plastics or ingredients based on petroleum are not allowed in certified natural cosmetics. These products are marked with seals such as "Natrue", "Ecocert", "Demeter" or "BDIH". In addition, organic detergents without plastic are also free of enzymes, palm oil, surfactants, artificial fragrances, colors and additives.
The best list of organic detergents without plastic
In an eco test, some detergents without plastic performed particularly well compared to conventional variants, including organic and eco variants. We show which brands were particularly convincing in the detergent without plastic test.
- soap nuts
- seventh generation
- So nice
The Berliner Green tech start-up offers environmentally friendly cleaning products in tablet form. The tabs are simply dissolved in tap water. This means that cleaning is 100% plastic-free. The product is very well certified according to the Blue Angel, Ecolabel and Dermatest, and is also vegan and easily biodegradable. On average, 94% CO2 is saved by not using single-use plastic.
2. Wash nuts
Detergent without plastic and palm oil: soap nuts are probably the most natural and environmentally friendly way to clean your laundry. They are free from all unnatural components and clean the laundry at temperatures between 30°C and 90°C. They care with their natural plant power, are suitable for allergy sufferers and do not pollute the water.
The ecover brand is dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin. It is plant-based, vegan and all of the brand's ingredients are fully biodegradable. A bottle of the plastic-free liquid detergent consists of 75 percent plant-based and 25 percent recyclable plastic.
Copyright by Ecover
This brand from the USA is quite new. Your ecological detergent without plastic consists of 97 percent plant-based ingredients. This contains no dyes, artificial brighteners or synthetic fragrances and is also dermatologically tested. The bottles are made of 100 percent recycled plastic, the products are not tested on animals and are B Corp and EU Ecolabel certified.
Copyright by Seventh Generation
The testers praised Sonett's detergents, such as the “Sonett Lavender detergent” for similar reasons. Sonett also offers so-called modular detergents. This means that any softeners or bleaching agents can be added, but only rarely and only when necessary. That saves chemicals and the environment. Certified organic palm oil is also used.
Copyright by Sonnet
Detergents from Frosch are available in almost every drugstore. Liquid and as a powder in different variants. They are kind to the skin, free of microplastics, plant-based and therefore vegan. The ingredients also come from European cultivation.
Copyright by Frog
Test results for solid, liquid or modular detergents without plastic
The results were able to show that liquid heavy-duty detergent washes well, but in some cases leaves a gray haze on the laundry. Low-emission washing powders, which can be used according to the modular principle, are best suited for this. In this way, the environment is significantly less polluted, while microplastics can be dispensed with entirely.
In addition to the detergent, the washing behavior also contributes to harming the environment. On the one hand, the frequency of washing plays a decisive role. This in turn depends on how many people live in a household and what jobs and hobbies are pursued. In order to wash in an environmentally friendly way, it is important to pay attention to the temperature. Usually 30°C or 40°C is sufficient to get the laundry clean and clean. So it doesn't always have to be 60°C or 90°C. The short program also saves a lot of energy and costs. Also productive: rely on devices of energy class A+, A++ or A+++ when buying a new machine.
Laundry clean, environment clean
The facts show that detergents without plastic make a clear difference for people, animals and the environment. Organic detergents are also less harmful and pay attention to microplastics and other environmentally harmful ingredients. With a close look at the list of ingredients and the right choice of detergent, you can make an important contribution to environmental protection. This step is not only important, but also extremely easy after a single search.