standard kitchen sponge

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Created
Jun 23, 2021 12:09 AM
Submitted By
Coco Jiang
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Brief Analysis of the Product

  • Often made of cellulose (natural fibre material) and polyester/nylon, which are often not recyclable nor biodegradable being made from nonrenewables such as oil and gas
  • Manufacturing Process:
  1. Sheets of cellulose fibre soaked in chemicals to make them pliable and soft. These sheets (hemp fiber & sodium sulphate crystals) are are then placed in large revolving containers to blend the ingredients.
  2. The completed mixture is then poured into a mold and heated: the heat melts the sodium sulphate crystals, which then flow to the bottom where the liquid is removed. The pores or gaps left from the melted crystals form the structure of our sponges.
  3. The material--a hard block at this point—is softened and cleaned in bleach and clean water, leaving the sponge material ready for drying and cutting! Standard sponges are sold in many stores both in-store and online.
  • Standard sponges are mainly used in kitchens and other areas for cleaning both objects or surfaces. Sponges are able to absorb a lot of water and cleaners and can then be wrung out to use again. Sponges encourage sustainability in this way and are able to be reused many times before they become worn out. Sponges discourage having to use different napkins or paper towels to clean surfaces.

Key Features that Promote Sustainability

  • A sponge's heavy absorption properties allow it to be able to absorb a lot of water and other liquids into it and then be wrung out again, which makes it easy to reuse for a long period of time.
  • Sponges can be used for a number of different purposes, not just in the kitchen. Sponges can vary by size and material as well depending on what they are used/needed for. This promotes sustainability in that they serve a variety of purposes.
  • Some sponges are made of natural and environmentally-friendly materials that can often last longer than standard sponge material.

Features that Reduce Sustainability

  • Standard sponges are often made of materials derived from oils and natural gases which are harmful to the environment as they are drilled and used in factories and places that harm the environment and do not encourage the use of renewable energy. The non-biodegradable materials cannot be broken down and often sit in landfills.
  • Although the standard sponge is reusable, it has a certain limit/extent to which it can be used, and it is often thrown away after it becomes worn out and is no longer usable. This goes against sustainability because people must go through multiple sponges over time and continually contribute to wasting away sponges. Tons of sponges end up in landfills, unable to decompose.
  • The sheer amount of bacteria that a sponge can absorb and harbor can be harmful to the environment when they are thrown away, e.g. if they end up in aquatic ecosystems and release all the bacteria into the water.