Eco Friendly Dishwashing – Dropps vs BlueLand

A long time ago we used to use Costco brand dishwasher pods. In our quest to reduce chemical and plastic usage, a few years ago I ordered a supposedly eco-friendly dishwasher pod called Ecover. Each pod came in a plastic wrapper. Pissed me off. So I started looking for something else and found Dropps.

We’ve been using Dropps dishwasher pods for a while now. They’ve been pretty good. They don’t clean as effectively as the previous non-eco friendly Costco pods in the energy saver mode of the dishwasher. However, considering the amount of excess energy we produce, I didn’t mind switching to normal mode. The packaging is nice – just plain cardboard. But then someone decided to put a giant sticker on it and ruin it. The pod membrane is water soluble and biodegradable (PVOH) but still somehow the membrane bothered me just because it looked like plastic.

Recently Parchayi came across BlueLand – they make dishwasher pods that have no membrane. So I ordered some. We’ve only tried one and the clean was pretty good. On their website the packaging looked like a paper envelope. However, when we received it, it turns out that the package is lined with some kind of unspecified compostable bio-plastic.

So my choice is between PVOH that BlueLand claims is evil and at the same time uses some unspecified plastic-like thing in their packaging. I don’t even know if I can compost such things here locally.

In an ideal world, I’d get BlueLand pods in Dropps packaging without a sticker. However, in reality either of the options is better than the packaging of anything you can buy in a store.

Anyway, the solution to my household supply environmental guilt is coming soon to Charlottesville when Renew Refill opens.

Update: BlueLand contacted me on Twitter and confirmed that the package needs to be commercially composted. Here is their full communication:

We recommend industrial composting only as there is no home compost certification (we have an industrial composting certification) as we cannot speak to variation of different soils, temperatures, conditions everywhere. If your area doesn’t have composting, there is a possibility the materials may end up in a landfill but as the materials are paper and corn starch we do feel it has less of an impact relative to plastic.

Here is a detailed list of all the materials:
The Paper Layer is lab verified to be comprised of only Bio Based Carbon.
The Compostable Film is lab verified to meet ASTM D 6400-12 specifications, as well as, BPI requirements for FTIR, % Ash and Metals Analysis for Safe for Composting.
The Compostable Film is lab verified to meet the disintegration for Timely Manner.
The Compostable Film is lab verified to pass the OECD 208 (Barley Seed and Cress Seed) toxicity test for Safe for Composting.
The pouches can be industrially composted.

We hope this helps!

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