Biodegradable Wet Wipes: Are They Better?

In addition to being useful for various cleaning tasks, wipes can lessen cross-contamination on surfaces like refrigerators, remote controls, and cell phones. The main reasons why wipes are preferred are their practicality and simplicity of use, which reduces the effort and saves time in our hectic lives when cleaning.

Wipes are practical, but they can also harm the environment. Because of this, it’s more crucial than ever that we start making adjustments and take greater responsibility for the waste that we make.

Using biodegradable wipes can help protect the environment and keep plastic out of landfills, which is a move that can help you reduce your carbon footprint on this planet.

This page will explain what biodegradable wet wipes are, how they are created, what makes them different from compostable wet wipes, and which brands are available.

What are Biodegradable Wipes?

First of all, what does the term “biodegradable” actually mean? Something is biodegradable if it is “capable of being broken down, especially into innocuous products, by the action of living things,” according to Merriam-Webster. Put another way, the substance can be degraded by fungi and bacteria and then reintegrated into the natural environment.

Common biodegradable materials include rubber, paper, bamboo, cotton, and wool.

“What are biodegradable wet wipes?” one may wonder. Unlike regular wipes that could contain plastic, biodegradable wipes are composed of natural ingredients derived from plants that decompose more quickly on the earth. They have to be composed entirely of biodegradable fibers to qualify as biodegradable.

What are Biodegradable Wet Wipes made of?

Biodegradable wet wipes are often composed of substances that decompose organically in due course, thus mitigating their ecological footprint. While the precise ingredients may fluctuate across companies, biodegradable wet wipes often contain the following materials:

  • Biodegradable Substrates
  • Natural Fibers
  • Biodegradable Binders
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging
  • Plant-Based Ingredients

1. Biodegradable Substrates

Wood pulp, bamboo, or cotton are examples of plant-derived fibers that are frequently used as the substrate, or base material, for wipes. The reason these materials were selected was that they break down more quickly than synthetic substitutes.

2. Natural Fibers

Biodegradable wipes are frequently made with natural fibers like cotton. Particularly, cotton is renowned for being from renewable sources and being biodegradable.

3. Biodegradable Binders

Natural sources, including plant-based adhesives, can provide the binders that keep the fibers together while promoting the wipe’s breakdown.

4. Eco-Friendly Packaging

Biodegradable wipes are frequently sold in packaging made of materials that decompose quickly, like recyclable or compostable materials.

5. Plant-Based Ingredients

The wipes’ liquid solution or other ingredients might come from plant sources, which would lessen the product’s total environmental effect.

It is imperative to refer to the product labels for precise details regarding the materials utilized since not all wipes with the term “biodegradable” will necessarily include the same ingredients.

The efficiency of biodegradability also depends on appropriate disposal techniques, such as composting or tossing wipes in trash cans as opposed to flushing them down the toilet.

Pros and Cons of Biodegradable Wet Wipes

Pros of Biodegradable Wet Wipes

  • Environmental Friendliness
  • Reduced Plastic Use
  • Less Impact on Landfills
  • Renewable Resources
  • Lower Carbon Footprint

1. Environmental Friendliness

Compared to conventional non-biodegradable wipes, biodegradable wet wipes have a lower environmental impact because of their natural breakdown over time.

2. Reduced Plastic Use

Conventional wet wipes frequently include non-biodegradable components, such as plastic fibers. Frequently, more ecologically acceptable substitute materials are used to make biodegradable wipes. With time, biodegradable wipes decompose more readily, lowering the possibility of persistent environmental contamination.

3. Less Impact on Landfills

Biodegradable wipes have the potential to decrease the amount of trash that ends up in the environment because they break down more quickly in landfills.

4. Renewable Resources

To reduce dependency on non-renewable resources and promote a more sustainable supply chain, certain biodegradable wipes are created from renewable resources, such as plant-based fibers or components acquired responsibly.

5. Lower Carbon Footprint

If eco-friendly manufacturing techniques and materials are used, the overall environmental impact of producing biodegradable wipes could be reduced.

Cons of Biodegradable Wet Wipes

  • Decomposition Time
  • Packaging Issues
  • Cost
  • Performance
  • Consumer Awareness

1. Decomposition Time

Biodegradable does not imply breakdown in an instant. Depending on the surroundings, some biodegradable materials may still take a long time to break down.

2. Packaging Issues

If the packaging for biodegradable wipes is not also environmentally friendly, it may still influence the environment. An all-encompassing approach to environmental issues must take packaging materials into account.

3. Cost

Sometimes the cost of producing biodegradable materials is higher, which could mean higher prices for customers.

4. Performance

Biodegradable wipes’ performance may occasionally be impacted by their lack of durability or efficacy relative to their non-biodegradable counterparts.

5. Consumer Awareness

Even though they are marketed as biodegradable, some wipes can need special disposal techniques to decompose properly. Negative environmental benefits could result from incorrect disposal or lack of awareness.

Cost of Biodegradable Wipes compared to other Wet Wipes

Generally speaking, biodegradable wet wipes cost a little bit more than conventional wipes. The employment of biodegradable materials and the production procedures necessary to produce ecologically friendly items are the causes of the cost difference. This is a quick analogy:

Biodegradable Wet Wipes


1. Environmental Friendliness

The natural breakdown process of biodegradable wipes lessens their environmental impact over time.

2. Sustainable Materials

Often, plant-based fibers or other environmentally friendly ingredients are used to make these wipes.



Because they are made using environmentally friendly production techniques and biodegradable components, these wipes may cost more than more conventional ones.

Traditional Wet Wipes


1. Cost-Effective

Because traditional wet wipes are produced widely and employ common materials, they are typically more affordable.

2. Availability

They come in a variety of brands and formulas and are easily accessible.


Environmental Impact

When disposed of incorrectly, traditional wipes’ non-biodegradable ingredients cause environmental problems.

Even though the initial cost of biodegradable wet wipes could be a little bit higher, many customers are prepared to pay extra for goods that support their environmental beliefs. Depending on the brand, particular materials utilized, and market demand, the price differential may change.

Growing environmental consciousness may lead to more competition and innovation in the manufacturing of biodegradable items, which could affect how much they cost in comparison to more conventional options.

Environmental Benefits of Biodegradable Wipes

Comparing biodegradable wet wipes to their non-biodegradable equivalents reveals various advantages for the environment:

  • Reduced Plastic Pollution
  • Biodegradability
  • Lower Carbon Footprint
  • Less Impact on Marine Life
  • Sustainable Raw Materials
  • Promotion of Responsible Consumer Choices
  • Reduced Landfill Impact

1. Reduced Plastic Pollution

The presence of plastic fibers in many conventional wet wipes adds to the problem of plastic pollution. The use of natural materials in the manufacturing of biodegradable wipes, such as plant-based fibers, reduces the impact on both terrestrial and marine environments.

2. Biodegradability

Biodegradable wipes decompose more quickly in natural settings. They are made to gradually break down, lowering the possibility of long-term environmental damage.

3. Lower Carbon Footprint

When biodegradable wipes are produced using sustainable materials instead of traditional ones, the carbon footprint of the former may be reduced, particularly if the raw materials are obtained ethically.

4. Less Impact on Marine Life

When non-biodegradable wipes get into water systems, they can endanger marine life. Because they decompose more quickly, biodegradable wipes pose less of a threat to aquatic life.

5. Sustainable Raw Materials

To promote more environmentally friendly and sustainable production methods, biodegradable wipes frequently contain materials made from renewable resources like cotton or bamboo.

6. Promotion of Responsible Consumer Choices

The availability and usage of biodegradable wipes motivate customers to make decisions that are friendly to the environment, creating a market for sustainable goods and changing business procedures.

7. Reduced Landfill Impact

Using biodegradable wipes can help with overall waste reduction efforts by lowering the quantity of non-biodegradable trash that ends up in landfills.

Although biodegradable wipes are good for the environment, it’s still necessary to dispose of them properly. It is recommended to dispose of them in a manner that promotes their biodegradation, like composting or using certain waste disposal techniques.

Furthermore, buyers ought to be informed about the precise components utilized in biodegradable wipes and select goods bearing certifications that support their environmental claims.


  • Complete Biodegradability
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Usage and Disposal
  • Comparisons with Alternatives

1. Complete Biodegradability

Even though they are advertised as biodegradable, some wipes could still need special circumstances or a long time to fully decompose. Appropriate disposal procedures are essential.

2. Manufacturing Processes

The entire life cycle, which includes the manufacture and delivery of the wipes, determines the environmental advantages. Choosing wipes made using environmentally sustainable methods amplifies their beneficial effects.

3. Usage and Disposal

If disposed of improperly, even biodegradable wipes might exacerbate environmental problems. It’s crucial to dispose of waste properly in approved rubbish bins or compost.

4. Comparisons with Alternatives

It’s critical to assess which biodegradable wipe is the most environmentally friendly option for a given set of circumstances by contrasting it with other, more sustainable solutions, including reusable towels.

Biodegradable wet wipes may be a better option, but it’s important to use them carefully and understand their whole life cycle. In the end, making more sustainable decisions is facilitated by lowering overall consumption, considering reusable alternatives, and following correct disposal procedures.

What else to know about Biodegradable Wipes

Despite being a more environmentally friendly option than conventional wipes, biodegradable wet wipes still have a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Biodegradability Standards
  • Ingredients
  • Disposal Method
  • Packaging
  • Certifications
  • Usage Habits
  • Sustainability Practices of the Brand
  • Single-Use Culture
  • Storage Conditions
  • Consumer Reviews

1. Biodegradability Standards

Verify whether the wipes adhere to accepted biodegradability guidelines. Certain wipes bearing the label “biodegradable” could not decompose as rapidly or thoroughly as one might anticipate.

2. Ingredients

Look at the components list. Certain wipes could still include chemicals that irritate skin or are bad for the environment. Seek for wipes composed of non-toxic, natural components.

3. Disposal Method

Toilets should not even be flushed down with biodegradable wipes. To avoid clogging sewer systems, proper disposal is essential. Throw them away in a trash can or according to the manufacturer’s suggested disposal technique.

4. Packaging

Examine the wipes’ packaging. Choose packaging made of recyclable or biodegradable materials if you want to protect the environment as well.

5. Certifications

Seek certifications from outside parties, including environmental organizations, to make sure that the biodegradable claims are verified.

6. Usage Habits

Reduce the number of wipes you use as much as you can. Reusable cloths or substitutes like simple water and a washable cloth could be adequate for some cleaning jobs.

7. Sustainability Practices of the Brand

Look into the wipes’ manufacturer’s sustainable methods. Products that are truly eco-friendly are more likely to be offered by brands that are dedicated to ecologically responsible operations.

8. Single-Use Culture

Even with their biodegradability, single-use products still add to trash. When it is possible, go for reusable alternatives to minimize total usage.

9. Storage Conditions

To avoid early deterioration, store biodegradable wipes in a cool, dry location. Heat and moisture exposure might hasten the disintegration process.

10. Consumer Reviews

Examine the comments and opinions left by customers who have tried the particular brand of biodegradable wipes. This can shed light on the product’s efficacy and effects on the environment.

By keeping these things in mind, you may choose and use biodegradable wet wipes more wisely and help promote an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of living.


In summary, even though biodegradable wet wipes have benefits for the environment, it’s important to take consumer knowledge, decomposition time, packaging, and cost into account. Making sustainable decisions requires balancing effectiveness and environmental impact.


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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