Is the Eraser Biodegradable?

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

Do you have a couple of erasers knocking around that you don’t know what to do with? Then you might ask yourself, are erasers biodegradable?

Erasers are not biodegradable because they are made of synthetic rubber. Synthetic rubber is a type of plastic. It does not decompose.

With all that in mind perhaps you wonder what you should do with your erasers. Is using an eraser environmentally friendly? You can find out more about this topic thanks to the information in this article.

Are Erasers Environmentally Friendly?

We all want to know what impact the contents of our pencil case have on the environment. So, let’s start with our good friend, the eraser. What can we say about this piece of stationery?

To find out, we need to know more about what erasers are made of. Erasers are made from an abrasive such as fine pumice. Erasers also contain synthetic rubber or vinyl, that’s what gives them their elasticity. 

The main materials that make up erasers are synthetic. Because of that, we can conclude that they are not environmentally friendly. The synthetic rubber that you find in erasers is derived from petroleum. 

The process of refining petroleum to make erasers has negative impacts on the environment. This process also wastes a lot of energy as it involves heating the petroleum to temperatures of up to 370 degrees Celsius. (700 degrees Fahrenheit.) Then various other chemicals are added to the mix to keep the rubber molded together.

Is Eraser Biodegradable or Non Biodegradable?

Erasers are non-biodegradable. This is because of the materials that erasers are made out of. Erasers are made from synthetic rubber and vinyl. Synthetic rubber is a type of plastic and plastic is non-biodegradable. It takes hundreds of years for synthetic rubber to break down and when it does, it harms the environment.

Since erasers aren’t biodegradable, what should you do to get rid of them? If you have erasers that you don’t need, here are a couple of things you can do to dispose of them. 

  • Give the erasers away. Ask your friends if anyone could use your erasers. A family will very likely take them off of you if they have young children. Children often need erasers for school projects.
  • Donate the erasers. A children’s charity will no doubt find a use for erasers, especially if you have a large quantity of them. You should check that the charity will accept the donation before you take it.

Since erasers are so tricky to dispose of, the best thing to do is to limit how many of them we buy. If you buy an eraser, ensure you use it until it finishes. This way, you can eliminate the need to throw them away. Only buy erasers as and when you need them.

Do Erasers Disintegrate?

Erasers are made from synthetic rubber or vinyl. These are soft materials that give the eraser its elasticity. As you use an eraser, it disintegrates. This is because of the friction of the eraser against the surface you are working on. The friction buffs small bits of the eraser away every time you use it. 

Erasers do not, however, disintegrate on their own. Erasers will take hundreds of years to decompose on their own and when they do, they harm the environment.

You and I will never live to see an eraser decompose and disintegrate on its own. So, try cutting your carbon footprint by only buying erasers that you need. You can also give any erasers away that you do not have any use for. 

Erasers are very hard to recycle. So, to make sure that yours does not end up in a landfill, you should use it to the end.

How Do You Dispose of Erasers?

Erasers are made of synthetic materials. This makes it complicated for us to recycle them. You cannot simply put an eraser into your normal recycling box. 

There are so few eraser recycling facilities because erasers are small and hard to gather into large amounts. If you are looking for a way to dispose of them, take a look at the following ideas.

  • Give them away to someone who needs them. School-aged children always need stationery supplies. 
  • Give them to a charitable organization. If you have a large number of erasers, a charity that looks after children may take them off of you.
  • Use them as door stoppers. They can prop doors open for you and stop them from banging shut. 
  • Use them for cleaning. Hard erasers are known to be great at cleaning water marks and crayon marks off of surfaces. You can even use them to clean dirt off of tile grout or clean scuff marks off of walls. They are also known for getting scuff marks off of the side of the bath very effectively. 
  • Cut them into squares for furniture legs. If your furniture legs are scratching your flooring, erasers will cushion the blow.
  • Cut them into shapes and use them as a keychain. If you have erasers in assorted colors, they will look even nicer.
  • Drive a slit into one. You can then use it as a pressure pad to stop you from hurting your fingers when driving nails into walls. 

Have these upcycling ideas got your creative juices flowing? Then make sure you check out this awesome eraser stamp idea! It’s one of the many innovative things that you can do with leftover erasers.

Final Thoughts

We all have a bunch of erasers amongst our stationery supplies. And if you have an excess of rubber, you may wonder, is the eraser biodegradable?

As we have seen in this article, erasers are not biodegradable. This is because they are made from synthetic rubber, which is derived from plastic. 

These materials take hundreds of years to degrade and damage the environment as they do. But all is not lost, If you have leftover erasers, you can always give them to a friend or even try upcycling them!

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