Is Soy Wax Eco Friendly?

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

Are you worried that dumping your idle soy wax candles may harm the environment?

Soy wax is eco-friendly and offers clean burning. It is a product of soy wax, one of the major byproducts of soybean. 

For the uninitiated, soybean (or soya bean) is a legume member of the pea family, and Its seeds are edible. Oil extract from these seeds makes soy wax and other green products like lecithin and soapstock. 

In the rest of the article, I will talk about the environmental friendliness of soy wax.

Is Soy Wax Good For the Environment?

Soy wax is biodegradable and is a great alternative to fossil fuels. 

When you buy a soy wax candle, you help the environment stay super clean. If there’s a better time to adopt green energy, it has to be now. Why?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, air pollution due to fossil fuel emissions is blamed for at least one in five deaths. 

Pubmed also seems to read from the same script, noting that the fossil fuel menace is a major threat to pediatric health. Fortunately, soy wax could be one of the easiest routes out of this mess. 

First off, it’s natural, clean, and renewable. Secondly, it’s biodegradable. However, it’s not as sustainable as beeswax and other common fuels. 

If you have to choose other waxes over soy wax, it could be because of the secondary effects of its production, such as deforestation. 

There have been claims that many people are clearing forests to pave the way for soybean farming, destroying habitats, and inviting soil erosion. 

Other than that, soy wax remains the best wax so far. 

Is Soy Wax Toxic?

The common denominator of naturally green products is non-toxicity. Soy wax is among these products, so it is not poisonous. 

It is 100% soybean but can also include other safe ingredients like vegetable and animal extract. 

Consumers hope to get a purely green fuel source in soy wax. Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax is colorless and doesn’t produce a lot of toxic soot. 

However, soy wax can be harmful to your health if it’s infused with fragrances and toxic additives. 

For example, if you use soy wax made through hydrogenation, the wax ceases to be natural. 

Hydrogenation is the chemical treatment of products with hydrogen and other compounds in the presence of heavy catalyst metals like platinum and nickel. 

So, if you burn soy wax processed in this manner, you are likely to suffer ill health due to carcinogens and other toxic substances such as acetaldehyde and acetone. 

Is Soy Wax Compostable?

Soy wax is 100% compostable because it is 100% natural. However, impure soy wax is not compostable. 

By impure, I mean soy wax with additives like synthetic materials and other toxic substances. It is always good to be sure about the purity of the soy wax you buy because you don’t want to kill the good bacteria in your compost. 

Is Soy Wax Recyclable?

No, just like other waxes, soy wax is not recyclable. Recyclers don’t like accepting materials made from wax because their stickiness could clog up recycling machines. 

However, there are numerous other ways of disposing of soy wax, such as:

  • Throw it in a dumpster – as an environmentally conscious person, put your soy wax in a dumpster instead of dumping it in a landfill. The good thing about this method is that the dumpster owner will remove the burden from your shoulders. 
  • List on Craigslist – there are thousands of websites where you can exchange your soy wax for cash. You may also give them away for free because your objective is to get rid of them. 
  • Donate to skateboarders – even if your soy wax is too broken or dusty to sell, skateboarders can use it to oil the edges where they skate. If it’s not skateboarders, candle makers could accept it because it’s a raw material for candles. If the wax is unused, a thrift store may want them. 
  • Trash – soy wax is safe to be in the trash bin. However, ensure it’s not toxic or used. 
  • Burn it – soy wax evaporates when burnt. Unfortunately, this method only applies to pure soy wax. If you’re unsure about the ingredients in your soy wax, it’s advisable to use any of the methods we have mentioned. 

The problem with soy wax

Although soy wax seems to outshine other waxes in terms of environmental friendliness, it’s not a darling of everyone. 

However, the problems associated with it have to do with soybean.

  • Sustainability: To produce enough soy wax to cater to the needs of all those that advocate for green energy, we may need to pause the cultivation of other crops or clear all tropical forests. This is because soy wax burns faster than almost all waxes, making it difficult for manufacturers to keep up with the demand for this precious fuel. 
  • Pollution: There’s no soy wax without soybean farming. Like other crops, soybeans need herbicides to flourish. Farmers can’t help but adopt the habit of regular spraying because that is the most common way to boost plant health. 

Unfortunately, their herbicides end up in rivers, soil, and even in beeswax. Not to scare you, but the risk of cancer depends on, among other things, how much you’re exposed to herbicides! 

  • Short lifespan: You buy wax hoping it will ban for many hours, days, or even weeks – it depends on the size. Wax lifespan depends on the density of the main ingredient. If you burn both soy wax and beeswax, the latter will last longer because it is much denser.

Final Thoughts

Soy wax is a healthier alternative to fossil fuels and other waxes. Of course, impure soy wax is likely to harm you and the environment, so always ensure you get the cleanest wax. 

The only problem with soy wax lies in the production of soybean. 

We cannot get soy wax without applying herbicides in farming soybeans, and we aren’t guaranteed the safety of these chemicals. 

But looking at the wax as a product, it’s safe to conclude that it’s one of the best eco-friendly fuels. 

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