Detergent without plastic - this is how environmentally friendly washing works

While we clean our laundry, we can pollute the environment properly - we show what is important when choosing detergents

wash plastic-free
Source & Copyright by Freepik

Author: Katharina Healing

  • Microplastic detergents harm the environment and people
  • Numerous names mislead consumers
  • Detergent without plastic as an alternative without compom

Microplastics from the washing machine into the sea

Detergents come in numerous variations, scents and consistencies - the choice seems endless. But it is particularly noticeable when it comes to sustainability that there are major differences. Many detergents contain microplastics that end up in the oceans and pose a threat to living things. Last but not least, this cycle has significant consequences for us humans, as marine animals and plants are often on our menu.

Plastic in detergent is a big problem for people and the environment. The plastic parts in products such as detergents, but also in cosmetics, shower gel, sunscreen and make-up, are microscopic in size and thus pass through the filter systems of sewage treatment plants. In this sense, one speaks of microplastic particles with a diameter of less than 5mm.

If the parts are contained directly in the products and thus get into the sea, for example, one speaks of primary plastic. Secondary plastic, on the other hand, means plastic, which is created by the decomposition of larger plastic products such as bags. Here are the best cosmetic products without microplastics.

Why do we need detergents without plastic? 

Detergents with plastic pose a great burden on the environment in many ways. First, because plastic is mostly produced from petroleum and it is a scarce raw material. Secondly, the microplastic particles are not biodegradable. It remains in the environment for centuries.

This creates water Sewage sludge - the wastewater from sewage treatment plants, which consists of organic and mineral substances - pollutes fields and the air. The microplastic particles are particularly dangerous because pesticides and other poisons are accumulated on them. If a fish, a mussel or another living being ingests this particle in its organism, there is a double danger. For example, tumors, physiological disorders and a higher death rate due to the microplastic and the poison have been identified.

Detergent without plastic

Source: Statista

Microplastics in detergents are hidden behind confusing labels

Seldom are consumers really aware that they are buying plastic detergents. This is because microplastics are subject to numerous different definitions. According to environmental protection organizations, the following substances are considered microplastics: FEDERATION or classify Greenpeace:

  • Plyethylene (PE)
  • Nylon-12
  • Nylon-6
  • Acrylate Crosspolymer (ACS)
  • Acrylate copolymer (AC)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyquaternium (PQ)
  • Polystyrenes (PS)
  • Polyurethanes (PUR)
  • Polyacrylates (PA)
  • Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
  • Polyurethanes (PUR)

In order not to lose track of these numerous names, there is some help for the identification of microplastics. With the app "Code check" or "ToxFox" For example, you can scan the barcodes of various detergents and find out about the ingredients. The ingredients are classified in categories of sustainability, the concern is highlighted and alternative products are proposed.

Detergent without plastic - alternatives to conventional detergents

Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives and also popular markets to buy detergent without plastic - including Drugstores like DM or Rossmann. For example, microplastics, plastics or petroleum-based ingredients are not permitted in certified natural cosmetics. These products are labeled with seals such as "Natrue", "Ecocert", "Demeter" or "BDIH". In addition, organic detergents without plastic are also free of enzymes, palm oil, surfactants, artificial fragrances, colors and additives. 

The best list of organic detergents without plastic

Cut in an eco test some detergents without plastic do particularly well compared to conventional variants, including organic and eco variants. We show which brands were particularly convincing in the detergent without plastic test. 

  1. Klaeny
  2. Soap nuts
  3. ecover
  4. Seventh generation
  5. So nice
  6. frog

1. Klaeny

The Berliner Green tech start-up offers environmentally friendly cleaning agents in tablet format. The tabs are simply dissolved in tap water. This means that 100% plastic-free cleaning is possible. The product is very well certified according to the Blue Angel, Ecolabel and Dermatest, also vegan and easily biodegradable. On average, not using single-use plastic saves 94% CO2.

2. Wash nuts

Laundry detergent without plastic and palm oil: Soapnuts are probably the most natural and environmentally friendly way to clean your laundry. They are free of all unnatural components and clean the laundry at temperatures between 30 ° C and 90 ° C. They maintain through their natural plant power, are suitable for allergy sufferers and do not pollute the water.

3. ecover

The ecover brand is dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin. It is produced on a plant basis, vegan and all ingredients of the brand are completely biodegradable. A bottle of liquid detergent without plastic consists of 75 percent vegetable-based and 25 percent recyclable plastic.


Copyright by Ecover

4rd Seventh Generation

This US brand is quite new. Your ecological laundry detergent without plastic consists of 97 percent vegetable-based ingredients. It contains no dyes, artificial brighteners or synthetic fragrances and is also dermatologically tested. The bottles are made of 100 percent recycled plastic, the products have not been tested on animals and B Corp, as well as EU Ecolabel certified.

Detergent without plastic

Copyright by Seventh Generation

5. Sonnet

The testers praised Sonett's detergents, such as the “Sonett Lavender detergent” for similar reasons. Sonett also offers so-called modular detergents. This means that any softeners or bleaching agents can be added, but only rarely and only when necessary. That saves chemicals and the environment. Certified organic palm oil is also used. 

Detergent without plastic

Copyright by Sonett

6. Frog

Frosch detergents are available in almost every drugstore. Liquid and powder in different versions. They are gentle on the skin, free of microplastics, plant-based and therefore vegan. The ingredients also come from European cultivation.

Detergent without plastic

Copyright by Frosch

Test results for solid, liquid or modular detergent without plastic

The results showed that liquid heavy-duty detergent washes well, but in some cases leaves a gray haze on the laundry. Low-emission washing powders, which can be used on a modular basis, are best suited for this. This means that the environment is significantly less polluted, while there is no need for microplastics at all. 

In addition to the detergent, washing behavior also helps to harm the environment. First, the frequency of washing plays a crucial role. This in turn depends on how many people live in a household and which professions and hobbies are pursued. In order to wash in an environmentally friendly way, it is important to pay attention to the temperature. Usually 30 ° C or 40 ° C is completely sufficient to get the laundry clean and pure. So it does not always have to be 60 ° C or 90 ° C. The short program also saves a lot of energy and costs. Also productive: rely on devices of energy class A +, A ++ or A +++ when you are about to buy a new machine.

Laundry clean, environment clean

The facts show that detergent without plastic makes a clear difference for people, animals and the environment. Organic detergents are also less stressful and pay attention to microplastics as well other environmentally harmful ingredients. With a close look at the list of ingredients and the right choice of detergent, you can make an important contribution to environmental protection. This step is not only important, but also extremely simple after a single search.


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