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Biodegradation versus Chemical Decomposition

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Biodegradation versus Chemical Decomposition

Did you know that our soaps are completely biodegradable? And that biodegradation and chemical decomposition are NOT one and the same? Decomposer bacteria feed on biodegradable substances by breaking them down to simpler molecules. This decomposition is one of the occurring stages in a natural healthy ecosystem. In contrast, detergent soaps interrupt this cycle by killing bacteria hence leaving residues in the water with no host to degrade them.

In theory and in practice releasing any substance into the environment is NOT a good idea. Let me explain. Releasing a lot of biodegradable substances in waterways gives more food to bacteria than it does to other species sharing the same environment. Bacteria will grow faster in comparison to other species and consume more oxygen. This phenomenon leads to a decrease in available oxygen to other species such as larger fish. On the other hand, detergent soap kills bacteria and pollute fresh waterways making it inhabitable to fish and other organisms. You are to choose the lesser of 2 evils.

As a rule of thumb, Biodegradable is better while detergents should be avoided by all means. Keep your consumption of biodegradable soaps to a minimum and stay away from bio-life

PS: I’ve been asked whether it’s ok to use a biodegradable soap directly in the river. The answer is NO, please don’t. Although they are biodegradable, natural soaps do break the surface tension of water and might for a temporary period of time reduce the oxygen levels in it. If you wouldn’t bite in a soap then why would you want a fish to do so? If you have no other choice but to wash in the wild, then carry water 20 m away into mainland and use a minimal quantity.

Let’s spread good manners! Write to us if you have any questions.

 

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