Does the film around detergent pods really biodegrade? A debate is raging.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Easy-to-use detergent pods have become ubiquitous in American homes, containing just the right combination and amount of cleaning agents to leave clothes fresh and dishes sparkling. But now a debate is raging over whether they may contribute to the growing plastic pollution problem that threatens human health and the environment.

An eco-friendly company that sells cleaning products and advocacy groups petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to take action against the use of the “plastic film” that surrounds the pods, arguing that the material does not completely break down in water as advertised. The petition urges the agencyto require health and environmental safety tests for polyvinyl alcohol, also known as PVA or PVOH, which encases the pods. The petition calls on the EPA to remove the compound from its Safer Choice and Safer Chemical Ingredients lists until the tests are conducted and PVA is proved safe.

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