Day 10. The problem with plastic sponges

Day 10. The problem with plastic sponges

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We’ve all used them, and most of us will have at least one in their homes, the kitchen sponge. In this blog, I will outline two reasons why kitchen sponges are not as great as you may think, and what we can use instead to solve the problem.

The Dirty secret of the kitchen sponge:

They’re not as clean as you may think. A study, led by Markus Egert, found that bacteria density on kitchen sponges can reach up to “45 billion per square centimeter”. Egert then says that “There’s hardly any habitat on Earth where you’ll find similar densities of bacteria, except for the human intestinal tract.” … great.

Their environmental impact:

The common kitchen sponge is made from plastic such as polyurethane, and so, is neither recyclable or biodegradable. Meaning that after use, it will either make its way into landfill or into rivers and eventually the ocean. It is here that the sponge will slowly degrade into microplastic, tiny particles of plastic that have the ability to enter food chains and even get mixed into the water cycle. Traces of microplastic have been found in places as vast as Antarctic, crazy right!

So, what’s the solution?

There are luckily products out there that can be used to replace those nasty plastic kitchen sponges. Such as:

A natural fibre scrubbing brush: Made from natural materials, meaning the brush can be disposed of with the knowledge that it will simply degrade naturally.

Try this one made from coconut fibre and wood –

A hessian or jute sponge: Made from natural and biodegradable materials such as hessian or jute these sponges can be used to replace the common plastic kitchen sponge. They can then simply be thrown into a compost bin and left to degrade.

Hessian sponge on Born-Eco –

Now I know what you may be thinking, this doesn’t solve the bacteria issue. And you’d be right for the hessian sponge. As for the brush, the bristles are closely packed meaning less room for bacteria, and they dry quicker, making it a harder environment for bacteria to survive on.

As for the hessian sponge, you may not be able to fix the bacteria problem, but I suppose it didn’t kill you when you used a plastic sponge… So you only get the satisfaction of helping the environment, but I think that’s more than enough!

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