Sponges are a common item found in the vast majority of households, both in the kitchen and the bathroom. The most common form of sponge found in kitchens is the double-sided scourer sponge, usually found in bright colours (generally yellow) and sold in multipacks.
While many of us use these sponges regularly, we rarely stop to question how they are made, what they’re made from and what effect this has on the environment once the sponges are thrown away. So, how are sponges made? Here we’ll take a look at this, as well as the eco-friendly alternative sponges available to environmentally conscious households.
How are synthetic sponges made?
While natural sea sponges are a much more common sight in the bathroom, the majority of kitchen sponges are created using artificial and synthetic materials.
So, what are kitchen sponges made of? The main materials used in the manufacture of synthetic kitchen sponges include polyester and polyurethane, with the latter generally used to create the scouring side of the sponge. One common issue with these materials is that they often lead to the release of microplastics and nanoplastics during use, which can cause health problems over time if ingested.
Effects of synthetic sponges on the environment
It’s recommended that you replace your kitchen sponge once every two weeks. Based on this recommendation, the average household goes through at least 24 sponges each year – so, what effect does the disposal of synthetic sponges have on the environment?
Synthetic sponges are harmful even before they are thrown away, as small levels of the synthetic fibres can fall away from the sponge during use, polluting waterways – considering how many millions of these sponges are used each year, this poses huge problems for marine wildlife and plants.
Once the sponges are thrown out, they do not break down, accumulating in landfill and remaining in-tact for thousands of years.
Friendly Soap kitchen sponge
Friendly Soap’s Kitchen Sponge is a fantastic all-natural alternative to synthetic double-sided kitchen sponges.
Available in packs of two, Friendly Soap’s kitchen sponge features one side made from natural cellulose and a scouring side made using rough coconut fibres.
These sponges are long-lasting and designed to give your dishes and surfaces a sparkling clean every time. The best part of it all is that, once you’re ready to replace them, these sponges are compostable and biodegradable.