According to a study conducted by Arizona State University and Plastic Oceans International on detergent pods, the washing solutions aren't eco-friendly.
The study discovered that polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which allows detergent pods to release the correct quantity of detergent while washing, isn't always biodegradable. PVAs must be biodegradable under precise conditions, and waste treatment plants in the US aren't designed to decompose PVAs.
In the US, 75% of PVA from detergent pods was discovered to be untreated, resulting in more than 8,000 tonnes of PVA entering the environment each year. By acting as carriers of harmful waste, the plastic residue from PVA has a severe impact on the ecosystem and the food chain.
“Detergent pods is a cause for concern,” notes Charles Rolsky, PhD of Arizona State University. Manufacturers can leverage the data from the research to appropriately promote and label detergent pods.
[3 minute read]