Kids, don’t try this at home. We set up an experiment in our lab recently to conduct a ‘burn test’ with four different fabrics to demonstrate how easily you can find out if your wipe contains plastic.
It is important to know exactly what is in the wipe material to then know which bin to pop it in at the end.
There are many products that state they are ‘90% biodegradable’, but what that means is they still contain 10% plastic … don’t be mistaken by misleading packaging (it is easy to do, which is why the ACCC are so hot on greenwashing).
So, the burn test …
Plastic wipe – it literally burns like plastic. The smell is terrible, what previously looked like a cloth behaves just like plastic and melts down.
It curls and melts like plastic. It goes hard and stiff.
A blend of plant-based and plastic – it ignites, and definitely burns.
The residue left at the end is white hard plastic. The plant-based portion of the fabric burns and chars, but the plastic part remains.
A CleanLIFE plant-based, 100% plastic-free wipe burns distinctly differently. There is no plastic smell, it’s like a piece of paper in the campfire. Totally igniting and charring out. The natural plant-based material burns for longer too.
And our CleanLIFE flushable fabric that is made of wood pulp, no different to a paper towel. Zero plastic, no smell of that, and it behaves just like normal paper.
Before we do any material testing in our lab, we conduct this burn test to show many of our clients that even though they think they have a biodegradable material, there is still plastic in there. This hidden plastic is why it takes so long for wipes to break down in the environment, and why they become microplastics. Whereas biodegradable products do break down into nothing.
Watch the full episode on It Starts With Plastic Free
So the next time you are buying wipes, check out the packaging and if the wipes are 100% plastic-free. Our CleanLIFE range are and they are also made right here in Australia.