Is PVA Glue Biodegradable?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: May 7, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

We all want a way of sticking materials together that is fast and easy to apply, but you may wonder, is PVA glue biodegradable? Find out the answer to this question and more coming up next.

PVA is widely viewed as a biodegradable glue. It is normally considered environmentally friendly because the glue decomposes when it is in a dried state.

PVA glue is an awesome choice for sticking paper and plastic together. 

You can find out more about its impact on the environment in this next section.

Is PVA Glue Bad for the Environment?

Let’s start the ball rolling by stating that PVA glue is not bad for the environment. 

That is what makes it so popular among households all around the globe. It is also easy to apply, it dries clear and very quickly. 

Most PVA glue will dry completely within 24 hours or less. You no doubt have a bottle or two knocking around the house somewhere. 

PVA glue is non-toxic. It only begins to release toxic fumes when you burn it. So, when used properly, it is a safe glue that will not damage our atmosphere. 

Although some PVA contains high levels of VOC emissions, it is possible to find low VOC glue. You just have to keep an eye on some of the fine print on the glue labels.

PVA is biodegradable so we consider it to be a glue that is good for the environment. 

If you can recycle the packaging that the glue comes in then you have found a product that is doing wonders for our planet earth. 

And that doesn’t seem as tricky as it used to be as many manufacturers are trying to make their product packaging greener.

TIP: Are you feeling creative and would like to try your hand at making your own PVA glue? Then make sure you check out this step-by-step guide to making it at home right here

Does PVA Glue Decompose?

PVA glue is made from refined oil and other chemicals. Ok, so that might make you wonder, how could this glue possibly decompose? Let’s dive into this a little deeper to find out.

What’s interesting about PVA glue is that it is broken down by bacteria and other microorganisms. 

This means that when in a dried state and in the right environment it will begin to decompose. 

Ok, but what is the right environment for it to begin the decomposing process? It means an atmosphere that contains the following microbes:

But what is the result of decomposed PVA glue? Its end result all depends on the environment it is in and the types of microorganisms that it is exposed to. 

When in a dried state, PVA glue goes back to its polymer and the elements it consists of. It might surprise you but, PVA glue leads to the production of the following:

  • Water (H₂O)
  • Acetic acid (CH₃COOH)
  • Natural gases including carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2 )

Microorganisms do a fantastic job at breaking PVA glue down. The way that it is made contributes to this. 

Thanks to these factors, there is no evidence to show that traces of this product are found in the environment after decomposing. What does this all mean? That you’re happy using PVA glue and the earth is happy about it too.

Is PVA Wood Glue Biodegradable?

PVA wood glue dries quickly and clearly. It is also robust. 

This makes it the best option for sticking wood together. But what can we say about its environmental impact? Let’s find out.

PVA wood glue is biodegradable. We can be sure of this because wood glue is the same as ordinary glue but it is just a more resilient version of it. 

It is more heat resistant and more waterproof. This makes it better at bonding larger materials and wood together. 

We can conclude that PVA wood glue is biodegradable because it will begin to decompose when in a dried state. 

Microorganisms help with this process. And what’s the end result? As with ordinary PVA glue, wood glue when decomposing breaks down into its constituents. 

And its constituents do not leave traces in the environment. 

So what does all this mean? There is no current evidence to show that PVA wood glue does any harm to the environment. The glue is also non-toxic. 

And, as a bonus, if you can find a bottle of wood glue in a recyclable package, it will not have any negative effects on the environment. So you can use it with a clear conscience. 

Which Glue Is Biodegradable?

We are all looking for glue that has a strong bond, dries quickly, and most importantly, is good for the environment. 

But you may wonder whether glue like this really exists. 

The good news is that it does! There are a number of glues out there that are strong, but also great for our planet.

 So, let’s jump straight to the list. Here are our favorite types of biodegradable glues:

  • Water-based liquid glue. You can use this for sticking paper, plastic, and even wood.
  • Gelatin-based glue. This is great for bonding paper, fibers, glass, PET, and PVC.
  • Hot melt adhesives. These are used in takeaway packaging.
  • Heat seal adhesives. You can find adhesives such as these on foil, films, and paper.

Final Thoughts

PVA glue is widely accessible, fast-drying, and easy to use. 

But many of us wonder, is PVA glue biodegradable? Finding biodegradable glue is important as it helps you to do a little more for looking after our planet.

I am sure that what you have read has put your mind at ease as PVA glue is biodegradable. 

As you have seen, when in a dried state, it goes back to a polymer and the elements it constitutes which are then processed by microorganisms. 

That all means that buying a bottle of PVA glue is not just handy for you, but also extends a helping hand to mother earth.

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