Slime is a toy that is equally famous among adults and kids. Introduced in 1976, the initial version was made with guar gum- guar beans powder- that left a unique impression on the hearts of the users.
Ever since the toy has received immense love and demand from all age groups. For kids, it provides messy play with Styrofoam beads, while it is a stress reliever for adults.
What is Slime, and How Is It Made?
Slime is a gooey mixture that isn’t only fun to play and can assist in multiple DIY projects. From demonstrating viscosity to polymers and chemical reactions, you can use slime for whatever purpose you want. Best of all, it can take away all of the stress!
However, no one can overlook one of the biggest downsides related to its disposal. Even though slime is a mixture of widely used substances, it requires special and challenging preparations that are prone to leave negative effects- particularly allergens- in the environment.
Available in different colors, this squishy material can be squeezed infinitely. The water and borate mixture, when mixed in varied measurements, give variable viscosities that are exciting and relaxing to use (Rinkesh, 2019).
How Does Slime Affect the Environment?
Glue works as the base for slime and gives that plastic lump form in the end. Now, as science has proven, plastic takes too long to decay and decompose; the same thing will happen to slime.
It will take many years for a single slime bottle to decompose and mix with the soil. Even the items or ornaments added for attraction and appeal may become more harmful than useful.
For instance, glitter is added to the squishy material that itself is extremely damaging to the environment. Since glitter is made with microplastics, wildlife and waterways may receive maximum harm as they used to get from other plastic waste.
The worst part is microplastics are non-biodegradable and, therefore, remain on the Earth for centuries and keep damaging the atmosphere. In fact, humans must also limit their usage because slime is made with borax, an activating agent that can bring in more allergens and bacteria into the surroundings.
Is it Possible to Recycle slime?
Slime has emerged as a creative and multi-purpose toy that not only strengthens kids’ developmental and mental abilities but also enables adults to relax.
Considering its rising usage across the world, it’s evident that its disposal would be a huge problem. Plastic elements in slime make it difficult for mother nature to protect itself from the adverse effects. However, recycling may be a good option to mitigate the possible disadvantages.
Yes, you can recycle slimes, but the method varies for every type and the local recycling center. Normally, they ask people to bring old or leftover slime for the purpose. There are no charges for recycling in some cases, while in others, you might have to pay a certain amount. Make a proper inquiry before heading to a center.
Why Is Slime Non-Biodegradable?
The presence of non-biodegradable materials, like Borax, is the reason behind the slow decomposition of slime.
Since Borax is a non-biodegradable substance, it doesn’t let slime break down easily, regardless if it comes in contact with natural elements, time, and microorganisms. In the meantime, it is the biggest hazard to the environment.
On the contrary, having a slime made with PVA Glue means that it is biodegradable and can decompose naturally within a certain time period.
Just be sure to add eco-friendly decorative and appealing items like glitters etc., so that they are easy to dispose of (Greenorb, 2022).
What is the Downside of Having Slime?
It doesn’t matter how much video tutorials emphasize the positives of playing with slime, be certain that it has severe side effects, particularly poisoning, in case of contact with the mucous membrane or skin. Its boron content can cause a burning sensation.
In case of accidental swallowing, you may end up having slime burps, similar to horse manure. Ingestion may also be another consequence of eating slime, which in worse cases, can cause death.
What is the Right Method to Dispose Of Slime Properly?
Now that you know why not to have slime for a long period, it’s time to get into details of how to dispose of it without causing harm to the environment.
Practically, there are 4 proven methods of how you can get rid of the slime and keep the surroundings safe (Ruelas, 2020):
- Throw Small Pieces In Garbage: Throwing away the whole slime can harm the environment because it can stick and sink everything into it. It doesn’t only stay there for decades but keeps everything in good condition, thereby bringing in more and more damage. So, you should chop down slime into pieces and throw it with household waste.
- Call a Local Recycling Center: The aim of local recycling centers is to help people dispose of everything they want. They have dedicated methods to deal with any substance or item. Therefore, you can rely upon their abilities to get rid of big chunks of this squishy material. You can bring an old or leftover slime and let them do the magic.
- Use it for As Long As You Can: Slime has the nature to shrink and deflate over time. When you start playing, the process starts immediately because of the moisture you get from your skin. It will get smaller as you keep playing with it.
- Donate: It is one of the best ways to avoid adding more slime to the environment. You are saving mother Earth from hazardous disposal and keeping others away from buying new ones. You can look around for someone who is into creative art or looking for slime for any reason- be it your family member, friend, etc.
Slime-making and usage are equally damaging to the surroundings. Using non-biodegradable materials can bring pollution and many illnesses that can even lead to death, in the worst cases.
Although it is a good toy for kids, it needs adults’ supervision unless the kids can understand and follow the instructions.
- (2022, April 23). Is slime biodegradable. Retrieved from Thinking Sustainably: https://www.thinkingsustainably.com/is-slime-biodegradable/
- (2019). Is Slime Recyclable? (And Biodegradable?). Retrieved from Conserve Energy Future: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/is-slime-recyclable.php
- Ruelas, G. (2020). How to Dispose of Slime? 4 Right Ways!Retrieved from How to Dispose: https://howtodispose.info/dispose-slime/