Plastic Free Laundry Detergent: 15 Eco-Friendly Options

Plastic laundry jugs and plastic bottles are a great burden to the environment as they often carry up to 90% water, are heavy, require a lot of space for transportation, and have, therefore a very high carbon footprint.

Are Laundry Detergent Bottles Recyclable?

Over 30 billion loads of laundry are done in North America each year and over 700 million jugs are discarded every year. These plastic jugs are often made of High-Density Polyethylene HDPE and yes, they are recyclable but their recycling rate according to NAPCOR is around 19.1% only. You can imagine the amount of plastic waste, right?

Manufacturing Business Plastic Footprint

You may have come across zero waste products before. A “zero-waste lifestyle” is the idea that you can reduce your environmental impact by cutting down on things like plastic and packaging so that you’re not contributing to our planet’s pollution woes. In the world of laundry detergent, this often means making your detergent from scratch or using natural ingredients instead of nasty chemicals.

But that requires a lot of time, what about using a plastic free laundry detergent? Is it possible?

The answer is YES, if you’re referring to the packaging. However, everything gets a bit more complicated if you’re referring also to the product ingredients. There are growing numbers of environmentally conscious brands out there — and we’ll cover different aspects in this article, so that we can shed light about some concepts you might not know yet. 


The Rise in Zero Waste Laundry Sheets / Strips

One solution to the heavy and bulky plastic laundry jugs has been the invention of laundry detergent sheets and laundry detergent pods. One sheet, for example, weighs only roughly 3 grams, compared to the roughly 40 grams of a powder detergent load, that’s a 94% lot of saving in weight, which results in saving fuel for transportation and, therefore, 94% saving in CO2. (This data is by the Dizolve Group, the company behind the Tru Earth brand, who is the inventor of the laundry strip technology). We think that it is a great invention and it has a lot of merit for it, particularly as a low carbon solution. However, it has come to our attention after we had compiled this blog post initially that liquidless detergents like laundry strips, some laundry pods, and dishwashing tablets coatings contain a material called PVA.


What is PVA?

The acronym PVA is really confusing as this abbreviation can represent many different types of ingredients. On one hand, it stands for polyvinyl acetate PVA or PVAc, commonly known as PVA glue, wood glue, school or white glue, or even Elmer’s glue etc., and therefore you can imagine that products made with such ingredients cannot be claimed 100% plastic free. The same abreviation though stands also for polyvinyl alcohol PVA and it is also abbreviated as PVOH.  This is a synthetic polymer, which is both colorless, odorless, and water-soluble. Pretty confusing, right? According to manufacturers of  concentrated laundry strips and dishwasher detergent pods, this material fully biodegrades, however, only under specific temperatures, microbes, and other environmental conditions. The same view is shared in a study by the Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, although more independent research on this topic is needed.


How does PVA / PVOH Impact the Environment?

A recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health titled: “Degradation of Polyvinyl Alcohol in  US Wastewater Treatment Plants and Subsequent Nationwide Emission Estimate” by two Arizona State University Researchers shows that while the material dissolves in water, it doesn’t biodegrade during wastewater treatment and stays in the environment, though under a different matrix, and it is, therefore, a threat to the eco-system. By putting this information together, some researchers have projected how much PVA goes untreated and is released into the environment in the USA alone and this is estimated to be as much as 75% of PVA. That amounts to about 8,000 tons of the plastic material being released annually onto land and into waterways across the country.

As far as we know though, this is the only study we are aware of about this material in wastewater treatment plants. We know that for some the perceived benefits often outweigh the potential environmental concerns, particularly those related to climate change, as the carbon footprint of laundry sheets is minimal compared to conventional laundry detergents that also include many toxic chemicals, therefore we decided to also list products that contain this ingredient, and highlight this ingredient, to be fully transparent towards the readers.

In our opinion plastic-free laundry detergent sheets do not exist and our recommendation is to choose a product from the list that is zero-waste and doesn’t have any polyvinyl alcohol in it for your peace of mind!


Are Traditional Laundry Detergents Toxic?

On the other hand, traditional liquid laundry detergents are one of the most toxic cleaners in your laundry cabinet, because we use it so often and on so many items. They include engineered chemicals called optical brighteners (OBs), which are fluorescent dyes that are added in tiny quantities to most laundry products. Why? The reason is that they are fluorescent under UV light, and therefore, they make whites and colours look brighter. Not enough research is available to identify if these are harmful to humans and wildlife, however one thing is sure: they are not biodegradable. (Watch the video below to learn more).

Other controversial chemical are silicones which are used as an antifoaming agent in laundry detergents and fabric softeners, (and also in cosmetics) and to make your fabric softer. These have been found to be persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic in the environment.

All these chemicals are residual, which means, they leave a film on your clothes, sheets, pillowcases, and towels which stay on the fabrics. As you see, there is no perfect solution, it’s about choosing products that might not be 100% perfect but are safer for you and the environment.

I know many readers use America’s #1 detergent brand based on sales, Tide laundry detergent, which also comes in a powder version with cardboard packaging, therefore with “plastic-free” packaging (apart from that pesky plastic scoop), however, have you looked at the list of ingredients for this product???



Best Zero-Waste Laundry Detergent Brands 

Ready to switch to plastic free laundry detergent brands? Here are some sustainable laundry detergent brands you can use to shine your clothes. Remember: All of the options listed below, while they might not be perfect or 100% plastic-free, are much better than most of the ones you’ll find on the supermarket shelf, also considering the nasty chemicals that those products contain.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. This helps us continue the hard work we put into researching products and solutions.

Important Disclaimer: While we make our best efforts to scout plastic-free products around the world, we are also aware that it’s not always possible to find products that are 100% plastic-free, also in their ingredients. In this article, we are presenting the best versions of what is available on the market according to our values, and we are fully transparent regarding the PVA / PVOH ingredient.


1. Blueland Laundry Tablets – USA – Canada 

This is one of our favorite plastic-free laundry detergents. Why? Because it doesn’t contain PVA/ PVOH, it comes in compostable packaging and it’s still in a convenient solid form. Laundry detergent is the last thing you want to create a mess with. After all, it’s supposed to clean your clothes—not create an environmental problem. Blueland Laundry Tablets are packaged in a dry, concentrated tablet form and contain no plastic packaging. They are free from toxic ingredients like fragrances, parabens, and artificial dyes, plus they are certified vegan by the Leaping Bunny program. The tablets are shipped in compostable packaging and come with a refillable tin-coated steel container that can be used for storing at home or on the go! The tablets, themselves, are completely plastic-free. The manufacturer states that they are the first and only plastic-free laundry tablet on the market in a convenient single-use format that isn’t wrapped in a plastic film and is therefore PVA/PVOH free. Last but not least, they are climate-neutral and B-Corp certified. We tried these tablets and we were surprised to see that despite their size they work well! They are very concentrated and you only need 1 tablet for a small load and 2 tablets for a very large load. See our image below.

Tip: if your table doesn’t fully dissolve in the detergent compartment of your washing machine, place it directly inside with the load!

Manufacturing country: USA

Loads per packaging: 60

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Fragrance-Free

Packaging: compostable refill packaging and reusable, refillable stainless steel tins.


I'm Plastic Free with Blueland plastic free laundry tablets

Image: I’m Plastic Free Founder Simona holding the Blueland plastic free laundry tablets.


2) Nellie’s All Natural Baby Powder Laundry Detergent in a Tin – USA – Canada

Nellie's All Natural Baby Laundry Powder in a Tin


This is our second favorite truly sustainable detergent as it’s all-natural and it has been created with the utmost care for sensitive baby skin. Nellie is not just a brand! She was a real person with real values. She believed in honesty and simplicity, and she was going green long before the color was cool. The hypoallergenic laundry formula made in Canada has been infused with an oxygen brightener and is designed to deliver natural radiance and stain removals without the need for additional whiteners. This concentrated laundry detergent doesn’t contain water, which makes up most of the liquid detergents. At Nellie’s, they don’t think that selling and moving water around the planet is a very good idea, as this has a higher carbon footprint. Instead, more cleaning power can be packed into a smaller space using powder. As the tin is reusable and recyclable it makes this product a zero plastic laundry detergent. Use one tablespoon of laundry powder per wash.

Manufacturing country: Canada

Loads per packaging: 80

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Fragrance-free.

Packaging: recyclable tin



3. HexaWash All-Natural Laundry Detergent Alternative – Plastic-free! – USA & Worldwide

Superbee Hexawash All-Natural Laundry Detergent Alternative

The Hexawash eco friendly laundry detergent substitute was developed during lockdown 2020 – a proof that some good things have emerged from these very testing times! It uses magnesium, not harsh chemicals to clean clothes and it does this as well as your normal laundry detergent, if not better. It lasts for an incredible 300 washes, making it hugely economical, when the price is broken down per each load!

Each Hexawash contains an organic cotton pouch filled with magnesium pellets — and absolutely zero synthetic chemicals, therefore it’s made from fully biodegradable materials, it’s plastic-free and ideal for those seeking a truly zero waste laundry detergent. How does it work, you may think? When mixed with water, these little magnesium balls react to form hydrogen gas (H₂) and magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)₂) and to generate an alkaline solution of pH 10.5 in your washing machine — the ideal pH for washing clothes. The manufacturer states that it’s safe to use in all washing machines, including top-loaders, front-loaders, as well as high-efficiency (HE) washing machines.

Tip: use it as well as a laundry booster to soak smelly gym gear, or badly soiled clothes before the machine washing.

Manufacturing country: ethically handmade in the mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand, by a local team of dedicated seamstresses.

Loads per packaging: 300

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Fragrance-free.

Packaging: this detergent is packaged in a compostable cotton pouch and recyclable, compostable cardboard box.

End of life: when your Hexawash weighs less than 80g, simply bury it in your garden. The organic cotton will biodegrade, while the magnesium will fertilize the soil, helping your garden to flourish.




4. Tru Earth Laundry Strips – USA / Canada / Australia

Tru Earth Australia

Tru Earth Eco-Strips are eco-friendly laundry detergent strips that provide a concentrated dose of cleaning power in a tiny, pre-measured strip. Tru Earth Eco-Strips are made from plant-based ingredients and come in paper packaging. You can simply toss them into the laundry machine together with your clothes. No measuring is necessary. This product is made in Canada and does not use any animal-based ingredients or test on animals. True Earth Eco-Strips are hypoallergenic, paraben-free, phosphate-free, chlorine bleach-free, and free of 1,4-dioxane with no added dyes. They are also certified by independent dermatologists.

Manufacturing country: Canada

Loads per packaging: 32, 64, 384

PVA/ PVOH: yes.

Scent: Lilac Breeze, Fragrance-Free, Fresh Linen.

Packaging: recyclable cardboard box



5. Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent Powder and Pods – USA / Canada / UK

Molly's Suds Laundry Powder

Molly’s Suds powdered laundry detergent and laundry pods are the best natural, vegan laundry detergent for sensitive skin. The products are made with earth and plant-derived ingredients that are safe for both people and the planet and are rated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

This laundry detergent is certified vegan and cruelty-free. It can be purchased as a plastic free laundry detergent through the company’s zero-waste bulk refill store The Refillery in St. Petersburg, Florida. However, if you buy the product online it comes in a plastic pouch made of recycled plastic and non-toxic inks. It is a #7 plastic that can be recycled in some areas and through TerraCycle Drop-Off locations. The company uses only the purest ingredients to plan products without carcinogens or known human toxins. Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent Powder is safe for both top and front-loading machines and will leave your clothes smelling fresh without a chemical scent. 

Manufacturing country: USA, Florida

Loads per packaging: 60, 70, 120, 240

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Original, Unscented.

Packaging: recycled plastic pouch (#7) that can be recycled again through TerraCycle drop-offs.



Related: 9 Best Plastic-free Fabric Softeners?


6. Kind Laundry Detergent Sheets – USA – Canada 

Kind Laundry Detergent Strips

The non-toxic formula dissolves at any water temperature, making it safe to use. According to the manufacturer, they’re completely biodegradable, and the cardboard box they come in is recyclable. Since they come in 100% recyclable packages, they’re super light and travel-friendly too!

Simple plant-derived ingredients like coconut oil, corn starch, and lavender make up these natural laundry detergent strips. Pre-measured and individually wrapped for easy use—drop one into your wash as soon as you load it up (no mixing required).

Manufacturing country: China

Loads per packaging: 6 (samples), 60

PVA/ PVOH: yes.

Scent: Ocean Breeze, Fragrance-Free.

Packaging: recyclable cardboard box




7. Eco Roots Laundry Detergent Sheets – USA – Canada 

Eco Roots Laundry Detergent Sheets

EcoRoots laundry detergent sheets are a waste-free alternative to conventional liquid laundry detergents and pods on the market. According to the manufacturer, these biodegradable detergent strips are safe and effective in all washing machine types, and they’re septic-safe. Furthermore, because they’re made in no-drip, no-mess strip format, this makes them very convenient and ideal for traveling, trips to the laundromat, small laundry rooms, etc. The sheets have no harsh chemicals and are hypoallergenic: they are Paraben-Free, Phthalate-Free & Phosphate-Free, and Free of Synthetic Fragrances, Optical Brighteners & Dyes. They are vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil free.

Manufacturing country: not disclosed

Loads per packaging: 64

PVA/ PVOH: yes

Scent: Fresh Breeze, Fragrance-Free

Packaging: compostable cardboard box



Related: Plastic-free Toilet Paper: 13 Eco-friendly Options


Plastic Free Laundry Detergents

8. Meliora Eco Laundry Powder – USA – Canada

Meliora Eco Laundry Powder

Meliora offers concentrated plastic-free laundry powders manufactured locally in Chicago, US. They come in a reusable steel container that you can refill with bags from Meliora. And the best part? They’re septic-safe and great for use around kids and pets! Best of all, none of the ingredients are tested on animals, so you can rest easy knowing that this product is safe for your family.

Manufacturing country: USA, IL, Chicago

Loads per packaging: 64

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Unscented

Packaging: the laundry detergent is packaged in a refillable steel container and refill pouches.



9. Bestowed Essentials Zero-Waste Laundry Powder – USA

Bestowed Essentials Laundry Powder


Bestowed Essentials Zero-Waste Laundry Powder is made from biodegradable and compostable ingredients in the USA, by an all-female team in South Dakota. It has a palm oil-free, vegan and cruelty-free formula. It cleans your clothes without fading fabrics and has no parabens, sulfates, preservatives, artificial colors, or fragrances.

It comes in a compostable paper bag with a plant-based, compostable interior lining, with each serving being about the size of 2 tablespoons. This makes it easy to store in small spaces with minimal packaging waste. The laundry soap dissolves easily in water as you add it to your machine’s drum before adding your clothes. 

Manufacturing country: USA

Loads per packaging: 64

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Fragrance-Free

Packaging: compostable paper bag with compostable interior lining.



Related: Are you an Environmentalist? You’ll Love These 7 Plastic Free Dish Soap Brands


10. NaturOli Soap Nuts Organic Laundry Detergent – USA – Canada

NaturOli Soap Nuts

NaturOli Soap Berries are made from saponin. This organic laundry detergent is a natural cleansing agent and fabric softener found in soap berries from trees that grow in the Himalayas. These products are free of chemicals or additives harming your and your family’s skin. They’re great for sensitive skin but leave clothes fresh and clean. It’s like pods — you put four to five in a bag and toss the whole thing into the washing machine.

NaturOli is the largest developer of soap nut products across the USA, and they fully stand behind the wholesome benefits of saponin extract from their Certified Organic soap nuts, as demonstrated by the great customers’ reviews.

Manufacturing country: Himalayas. These products are not a Chinese import. They are inspected, sorted, and packaged in the USA.

Loads per packaging: 1-Lbs (240 loads)

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Fragrance-Free

Packaging: compostable and reusable muslin/cotton drawstring storage tote, plastic free packaging




11. Symbiotic Products Eco Clean Sheets – USA – Canada

Symbiotic Products LLC Eco Clean Sheets

Symbiotic Products LLC manufactures all-natural, 100% vegan, concentrated Eco Clean Sheets that are packaged in a recycled cardboard box printed with sustainable algae-ink. This product does’t include any harsh chemicals: 1.4 dioxane, phosphates, optical brighteners, dyes, formaldehyde, chlorine bleaches, nonylphenol ethoxylates, benzyl acetate, ammonium sulfates, dichlorobenzenes. One of the main advantages of this product, a part from being an eco-friendly laundry detergent, is that it is available in bulk, making it an affordable solution for those on low budget.

Manufacturing country: China

Loads per packaging: 100, 400

PVA/ PVOH: yes, though the manufacturer states that it is plant-derived, from coconut 

Scent: Simply Unscented, Natural Fresh Linen, Lavender Field, Citrus Burst

Packaging: recycled cardboard box with sustainable algae-ink



Related: 9 Plastic-free Soap Dispensers for Eco-conscious Individuals


12. Milk Street Laundry Powder Detergent – USA

Milk Street Laundry Powder

Milk Street Laundry Powder is a plant-based, zero-waste, safe, non-toxic laundry detergent made in the USA that smells great and cleans effectively. It is made in small batches with no petroleum, or synthetic ingredients and it is packaged in post-consumer plastic-free materials (compostable packaging) and uses soap from local breweries that would have otherwise gone to waste!

The company is Earth-conscious, sustainable and is committed to using minimal packaging and shipping as much as possible via recycled materials.

Manufacturing country: USA

Loads per packaging: 30

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Scent: Fragrance-Free

Packaging: post-consumer, compostable, biodegradable bag

Delivery:  USA


13. Resparkle Natural Laundry Powder – Australia

Resparkle Natural Laundry Powder

Resparkle has created a clean laundry detergent that uses plant-based palm-oil free ingredients and revolutionary biotechnology to clean clothes, remove tough stains and erase odours. The powder is so concentrated that you only need two heap teaspoons to one full (top and front) load, making it an affordable alternative to supermarket detergent brands. This sustainable laundry detergent is free from nasties, it has no synthetic fragrances or artificial color brighteners, it kills 99% of germs naturally and cleans even your washing machine, preventing mould build up!

Manufacturing country: Australia

Loads per packaging: 33

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Price per load: from $0.49

Scent: Australian lemon eucalyptus oil, or fragrance free.

Packaging: compostable pouch



Related: Homemade Plastic-free Cleaning Spray


14. Tirtyl Laundry Sheets – Australia

Tirtyl Laundry Sheets

Tirtyl has created Australia’s only laundry detergent sheets kit with humidity-proof storage. The sheets dissolve in your hot or cold wash in seconds and are suitable for use in all machines & hand washing. They are vegan, cruelty-free, and carbon neutral. You can purchase the Starter Kit, which includes a storage box, that can hold up to 100 sheets, and then purchase the refill sheets in bulk to save money. They also collect a bottle of plastic waste for every sheet sold.

Manufacturing country: China

Loads per packaging: 60

PVA/ PVOH: yes.

Price per load: from AU$0.60

Scent: Spring Garden, Unscented

Packaging: refillable tin & refills in cardboard boxes




15. Organic Soap Berries (Soap Nuts) Natural Laundry Detergent – Australia

That Red House Organic Soap Berries - Soap Nuts - Natural Laundry Detergent

That Red House has brought to the Australian market the world’s original Certified Organic Soapberries which are a natural, sustainable alternative to traditional fabric softeners and laundry detergents. Organic soapberries, also called soap nuts, are harvested from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree in the Himalayan region. These fruits are a 100% natural way to wash your clothes and can also be used as a concentrated all purpose liquid soap. This form of absolutely zero waste laundry detergent is also ideal for people with all kinds of skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and allergy sensitivity, because the berries are extremely hypo-allergenic.

Manufacturing country: Himalayan region

Loads per packaging: 180+

PVA/ PVOH: no.

Price per load: from AU$0.16

Scent: Unscented

Packaging: cotton cloth bag




Final Thoughts for a Sustainable Laundry

Are you ready to make the switch to a plastic free laundry detergent now? Or are you more adept at sticking with your favorite brand of laundry detergent? There are many ways to reduce your plastic footprint and live a cleaner, more sustainable lifestyle with low waste. Simply switch from an ordinary way to do laundryto choosing a low carbon and possibly completely plastic-free alternative. We have provided a list of the best eco-friendly laundry detergents but other environmentally friendly laundry accessories can replace or complement sheets or powdered laundry, like laundry soaps in the form of laundry bars and stain removals. You need not spend extra money in case you want to do your homemade laundry detergent products — they’re often made from common ingredients in your kitchen! So go ahead, find one that works for you!

All these products, will make reaching your plastic free cleaning goals easiliy!  

Browse our directory to find more eco friendly laundry detergent brands in your country.


  • N. L.
    October 8, 2023 at 11:33 am

    Calling out the PVA info for each brand was super helpful! I ended up purchasing from the smaller Symbiotic Products today and plan to purchase from Blueland in November. Thank you!

    • I'm Plastic Free
      October 9, 2023 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you so much for your great feedback! It’s great to hear it was helpful. We place a lot of time and effort in doing the research & writing these articles. If you purchase through our link, we receive a small commission that help us continue our work (for which we are very passionate about).
      Thanks again

  • Ahmed
    November 5, 2023 at 11:03 am

    Great article, I’m reading it because I’m obliged as a muslim to use detergents that are 1)Alcohol free (in this case PVA free) and 2) doesn’t contain any animal products (vegan) or contain animal products that are derived from permissible animals that are slaughtered according to Islamic terms

    So I’m ordering 2 products found in this article from Amazon USA, thanks to God(Allah) and then to you for make me benefit from this article

    • I'm Plastic Free
      November 6, 2023 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Ahmed,
      Thank you so much for providing your feedback and highlighting the religious aspects of your choice. This is something that we’ll consider even more in the future, to help consumers make the choice they need.
      Kind regards,

  • Andrew
    January 15, 2024 at 10:05 pm

    THANK YOU for all this research! I know a lot of time and effort goes into it, and it’s a blessing for all of us. I’m already using one of these (Kind Laundry), so when I order again or decide to move to another recommendation, I’ll be sure to click through your link to throw a little affiliate commission your way. And I sent a message to Kind to urge them to reformulate without PVA. It’s also a little bothersome that they’re manufactured in China where assurances of eco standards seems questionable.

    • I'm Plastic Free
      January 17, 2024 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Andrew,
      THANK YOU !!!! Yes, it does take a lot of time to do the research, we scrutinize the brand’s igredients, often we ask the manufactuer etc. and we can only continue our work if we can monetize our efforts. We are very passionate about providing solutions to our eco- and health-conscious customers and we are learning along the way on our eco-journey, hence why we love to be fully transparent!
      Thank you for supporting our work!
      Kind regards,

  • Sage
    February 26, 2024 at 5:51 am

    Thank you for the research you did on all this.

    I’m a scientist who embraced environmental sustainability since the 1990s. I acknowledge that science can be used for the wrong reasons, ignored to turn a profit, or used to manipulate environmentally-conscious people. It is common for some scientific industries to place ethics below profit. And I also know the power of understanding the scientific literature to help wade through all this misinformation. And it takes a lot of time and I am supportive of people trying to make sense of all this. And, I am wondering if you reviewed this original German (?) scientific article by DeGruyter published in 2021: -on specifically the biodegradability of PVOH in laundry capsules. I include some of their points below, but it’s best to read the article.

    I’m a chemist, now a teacher, and in my research, I found a few things that people need to be careful of:

    1) Be sure you are reading articles on polyvinyl alcohol, and not on polyvinyl acetate. Unfortunately, the internet is using PVA for both and this makes finding the applicable articles more difficult. A better abbreviation is PVAc =polyvinyl acetate and PVOH =polyvinyl alcohol.

    2) Wine, beer, and spirits contain an alcohol called ethanol. It is not a polymer. It is a completely different substance with different properties than PVOH. People wanting to avoid “drinking” alcohol for reasons of abstinence, religious or health-wise, need to avoid the ingredient “ethanol” also known as “ethyl alcohol”. The term “alcohol” is a generic name. Other alcohols you may have heard of include isopropanol/isopropyl alcohol as a disinfectant for first aid; and methanol/methyl alcohol used industrially (and mixed into industrial ethanol to keep people from drinking it since it is poisonous).

    3) To make it more confusing, unfortunately, there are different types of plastics, and thus microplastics. But again, this is because plastic is a very generalized term, as is the term “polymer”.

    4) There are two ways that plastics “disappear” or can no longer be seen with the naked eye. (A) First, PHYSICAL degradation: It can physically become smaller and still be a solid, microscopically small, and still be present as the original material, and still accumulate and create problems en masse in environmental systems and human bodies. This is just physically degrading -just becoming smaller and smaller but remaining the same material, and remaining in our environment forever! (B) Secondly, CHEMICAL degradation: It decomposes into different chemicals, preferably saver chemicals. The PVOH IN LAUNDRY PODS (as specific microfilms that are made in a specific manner) break down into smaller components that microorganisms use as food (now it’s undergoing biodegradation, as in it is “biodegradable.”). And then the microorganisms release it as their waste (i.e., poop) and now the PVOH no longer exists, and thus THIS TYPE OF PVOH did not become a microplastic.

    5) There are different types of PVOH depending on how it was manufactured. Unlike the PVOH used in laundry pods, other types of PVOH will stick around longer. FOR CHEMISTRY FOLKS: For example, chemical differences having to do with how long the polymer chains are, how many hydroxyl groups it has, and whether those hydroxy groups interact with water or with other hydroxyl groups on the chain which affects its solubility in cold or hot water -basically, are the intermolecular interactions greater than the intramolecular ones.

    Do I use pods? I’m still trying out the other options, too. Still testing and asking questions. I will look at some of the mentioned brands.

    I hope this is helpful to all in some way or another.

    • I'm Plastic Free
      February 26, 2024 at 8:36 am

      Hi Sage,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this long explanation, which is very useful indeed. We’ll take a closer look at the study you suggested. You’re right the topic is very confusing, particularly for a non chemist, since the same acronyms are used for different chemical substances, making it difficult for the average person to understand what it what. Therefore, our advice is to stay away from these pods if possible, and we are trying to provide alternatives.
      Thank you again. Your comment will help many readers.
      Kind regards,

  • Richard Bauer
    March 1, 2024 at 5:53 am

    If you are trying to minimize your use of plastic beware of ordering these products from Amazon. I ordered some sheets from Amazon and, although the product packaging was cardboard, Amazon shipped it inside an Amazon bubble-wrap plastic envelope. Talk about unclear on the concept! It would be nice if more of these products were available on local store shelves.

    • I'm Plastic Free
      March 4, 2024 at 11:11 am

      Hi Richard,
      Thank you for this comment. Please contact Amazon and provide this feedback to them, this is the only way we can create “pressure” and achieve real change! As the majority of online shoppers shop on Amazon, we see our social enterprise still as a “force for good” as we redirect consumers to buy truly sustainable, plastic free alternatives. We cannot control though how Amazon packages the shipped products. This is where the customer feedback to this retailer becomes very very important! Keep us posted of their response!
      Many thanks.
      Kind regards,

  • LJ
    March 5, 2024 at 5:28 am

    This is really great information but I’d love to hear your thoughts on products available in the UK!

    • I'm Plastic Free
      March 5, 2024 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks for your comment. A few of the products listed are available also for the UK, like the HexaWash for example which lasts for 300 washes. Another example is Molly’s Sud but though the packaging is recycled plastic. We’ll update this list as soon as we find more UK based brands.
      Kind regards,

  • Rosemary Tomlinson-Morris
    March 24, 2024 at 3:12 am

    I’ve tried Tru Earth and Freddie’s. Next will be your top of the list Blueland. The tin cans are unnecessary.

    • I'm Plastic Free
      March 24, 2024 at 11:26 am

      Hi Rosemary,
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. That tin is only for the first time purchase for people who want it, otherwise you can directly buy the refill pack without the tin, if you don’t need it.
      Kind regards,

  • allie
    April 1, 2024 at 5:18 am

    Thank you for the helpful breakdown. Do you have reservations about Nellie’s Laundry Soda or did you just decide to pick the one of their products that’s most eco-friendly? And I’m disappointed to see that they’re making plastic wrapped dishwasher pods.

    • I'm Plastic Free
      April 3, 2024 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Alison,
      Yes, we pick and chose products as we see fit for the purpose of the article. We are a very small team so we are aware that we cannot test all products individually… but we do our best! No, we have not noticed any plastic wrapped dishwasher pods from that brand, we have checked their website too. Do you have any photos?
      Kind regards,

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1. New Brands / Solutions Questionnaire

2. Business Ethics

3. Manufacturing Process

4. Product Ingredients

5. Product Materials

6. Product Packaging

7. Certifications

8. Shipping Process