What is Magic Sponge & Microplastic?

Melamine sponges (or magic sponge) are known for their ability to easily remove stubborn stains without the need for additional cleaning agents. However, the magic sponge sheds microplastic fibers as it wears down.

microplastic
Microplastic

Microplastics are plastic fragments and particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm, and these tiny plastic particles are widely found in the environment, posing a potential threat to the ecological environment and human health. The particle size of microplastics ranges from a few micrometers to several millimeters, and they are a mixture of non-uniform plastic particles of various shapes, which are often difficult to distinguish with the naked eye, and have been imaginatively referred to as the “PM2.5 of the sea”.

Recently, Researchers from Nanjing University and Southeast University have published a research paper titled ” Mechanochemical Formation of Poly(melamine-formaldehyde) Microplastic Fibers During Abrasion of Cleaning Sponges”.

The study showed that this magic sponge releases 6.5 million microplastics for every gram of wear and tear, and based on the monthly sales shown by Amazon and assuming an average of 10 per cent wear and tear on all sponges sold, it can be calculated that this sponge releases 1.55 trillion microplastics per month.

Regular-Magic-sponge-from-SINOYQX-Melamine-foam
Regular Magic sponge from SINOYQX-Melamine-foam

In this study, the researchers simulated the typical use of the Magic Sponge for reciprocal wear and tear, and calculated the amount of microplastics shed by the cleaning sponges by using a variety of techniques to analyses how the densities of the cleaning sponges would affect the rate at which the sponges break down.

The researchers first purchased three well-known brands of magic sponges from the domestic market and then repeatedly rubbed them against textured metal surfaces, causing the sponges to wear down.

It was found that the higher density of magic sponges wore away more slowly and produced fewer microplastic fibers.

Higher density melamine foam from SINOYQX for more durable and resistant to breakdown Magic sponge
Higher density melamine foam from SINOYQX for more durable and resistant to breakdown Magic sponge

Further analysis of the microplastic count revealed that approximately 6.5 million microplastic fibers were released per gram of cleaning sponge wear.

Why does the magic sponge produce microplastics?

The magic sponge, often made from melamine foam, is a highly effective cleaning product due to its abrasive properties. When used, especially with scrubbing and friction, the foam can break down into tiny particles. These particles are less than 5 millimeters in size, classifying them as microplastics. The breakdown process occurs due to the sponge’s wear and tear during use.

What are the dangers of microplastics?

Microplastics have fully invaded the human body, including the lungs, blood, intestines, liver, brain, heart, placenta, and even the human reproductive system, or are negatively affecting our health.

  • Environmental Pollution: Microplastics are pervasive in the environment, found in oceans, rivers, and soils. They are persistent pollutants that can last for decades.
  • Harm to Marine Life: Marine animals, birds, and other wildlife often ingest microplastics, mistaking them for food. This can lead to physical harm, blockages in their digestive systems, reduced feeding, and even death.
  • Food Chain Contamination: Microplastics can enter the food chain. Humans may ingest microplastics through seafood and other food sources, posing potential health risks. Studies suggest that microplastics can carry toxic chemicals, which might have unknown long-term effects on human health.

How to reduce microplastics?

  • Choose High-Quality Products: Purchase magic sponges from certified manufacturers such as BASF or SINOYQX. These products are likely to be of higher quality and less prone to breaking down into microplastics.
  • Use High-Density Reinforced Sponges: Use products like the SINOYQX high-density reinforced magic sponge, which is designed to be more durable and resistant to breakdown.
  • Minimize Plastic Use: Reduce the use of single-use plastics and opt for reusable alternatives. This reduces overall plastic waste and the potential for microplastic pollution.
  • Proper Disposal and Recycling: Ensure proper disposal and recycling of plastic products to prevent them from breaking down into microplastics in the environment.
  • Environmental Awareness: Educate the public about the impacts of microplastics and encourage environmentally friendly practices.

What Solution SINOYQX offers?

SINOYQX released higher density YQX-C type, which offer higher density, tougher and more abrasion-resistant foams, which is able to offer durability and less microplastic, comparing with normal magic sponge; hopefully, we can work with more partners to reduce the microplastic globally.

Higher density melamine foam from SINOYQX for more durable and resistant to breakdown Magic sponge 2 scaled
Higher density melamine foam from SINOYQX for more durable and resistant to breakdown Magic sponge

Where can buy the higher density YQX-C magic sponge, please reach us at: sales@SINOYQX.COM or +86-28-8411-1861.

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