Are Orbeez Biodegradable? Here Is The Truth

Are Orbeez Biodegradable?

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Orbeez – maybe you’ve used them for sensory play or as a decorative touch in your home. But have you ever wondered what happens to them once you’re done with them? As someone who cares about the environment, it’s important to consider the impact of the products we use.

That’s why the question “Are Orbeez biodegradable?” is worth exploring. As someone who cares about the environment, I was curious about the answer to this question myself.

To my surprise, Orbeez are biodegradable and decompose over time, but there is a catch!

How Long Does It Take for Orbeez to Biodegrade?

Orbeez are a type of water bead that can be used in a variety of ways. When it comes to their biodegradability, the answer is not a simple one.

The length of time it takes for Orbeez to biodegrade depends on several factors, such as the type of Orbeez, the environment they are in, and how much water is present.

Some environmentalists estimate that Orbeez can take anywhere from 2-3 years to completely degrade and eventually vanish. While this may seem like a long time, it’s important to note that Orbeez are biodegradable and will eventually break down into their natural components.

Also See: Can You Eat Orbeez?

What Affects the Orbeez Biodegradation Process?

The biodegradation process of Orbeez can be influenced by several factors. One of the most significant factors is the environment in which the Orbeez are placed.

Orbeez will degrade faster if they are exposed to the right conditions. These conditions include the presence of microorganisms, heat, and moisture.

In natural environments such as soil or bodies of water, microorganisms can help break down Orbeez. Microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and algae consume the organic matter in the beads, speeding up the degradation process.

Moisture is also an essential factor in the biodegradation process. Without moisture, microorganisms cannot survive, and the Orbeez will take time to decompose.

In contrast, if Orbeez are placed in a landfill, the biodegradation process may be significantly slower.

Landfills are not designed to biodegrade Orbeez and might not provide suitable conditions. Because of this Orbeez may take several years to degrade completely.

Are Orbeez Bad For the Environment?

When it comes to the environmental impact of Orbeez, the answer is not straight. On the one hand, Orbeez are made from biodegradable materials and can help plants retain moisture when used as a gardening aid.

However, if Orbeez are not disposed of properly, they can end up in landfills where they will take a long time to biodegrade.

Additionally, if Orbeez are not properly contained, they can pose a risk to pets such as dogs who may mistake them for food which can be life-threatening.

Overall, it’s important to use Orbeez responsibly and dispose of them in a way that minimizes their impact on the environment.

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Are Orbeez Made Up of Plastic?

One of the most common misconceptions about Orbeez is that they are made of plastic. However, this is not entirely accurate.

While some water beads on the market are made from non-biodegradable materials such as acrylic, Orbeez are made from a type of superabsorbent polymer that is biodegradable. This means that they will eventually break down into their natural components and not contribute to the plastic pollution problem that plagues our planet.

What Happens If Orbeez Breaks Apart?

While Orbeez are generally safe to use, it’s important to handle them carefully and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or pressure. When an Orbee bursts, its contents will be released into the surrounding environment.

While this is not harmful in small quantities, it’s important to clean up any spilled Orbeez and dispose of them properly.

Additionally, if Orbeez are ingested by a child or pet, it can lead to serious health consequences since its small size and round shape make them a choking hazard.

What Are Orbeez Made Of?


Polyvinyl Alcohol

Sodium Hydroxide


Color Pigments

Can You Put Orbeez in Compost?

If you want to put Orbeez in your compost bin, think again. Although they are biodegradable, they require a specific environment to decompose effectively. A compost pile typically consists of natural waste such as leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps.

Adding Orbeez to the compost bin will not speed up the process and may even harm the microorganisms responsible for breaking down the waste. Therefore, it is best to dispose of Orbeez in other ways.

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What are Some Ways to Dispose of Orbeez?

If you’ve enjoyed using Orbeez in your creative activities and are wondering how to dispose of them properly, here is how to do it.

  • Recycling Centers: Orbeez can be recycled just like any other material. If you have a large quantity of Orbeez, you can take them to a recycling center in your area. Some centers may accept them as long as they are clean and dry.
  • Using them in Orbeez guns: Orbeez guns are a popular toy that shoots water beads at a high velocity. If you have some leftover Orbeez, you can use them in your Orbeez gun and have some fun. However, be sure to clean up the Orbeez after you’re done using them.
  • Put them in Trash: If you don’t have access to a recycling center or Orbeez gun, you can simply throw them away in the trash. However, it’s important to note that Orbeez takes a long time to decompose in a landfill.
  • Give them to someone who can reuse them: Orbeez can be reused in many ways, such as in a sensory play or as a decorative element. If you have some leftover Orbeez, consider giving them to someone who can reuse them instead of throwing them and polluting the environment.

Also See: How to Easily Dispose of Orbeez Beads

How Not to Dispose of Orbeez?

While Orbeez are biodegradable, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Here are some methods you should avoid:

  • Draining or Flushing them: Never drain or flush Orbeez down the sink or toilet. Orbeez can expand and cause blockages in pipes, which can be expensive to fix.
  • Burning them: Burning Orbeez is not a safe or effective way to dispose of them. Burning Orbeez can release chemicals into the air, which can be harmful to both people and the environment.

Orbeez are a fun and versatile toy that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. While they are biodegradable and can break down naturally over time, it’s important to dispose of them properly. 

Are Orbeez Eco-Friendly?

In theory, Orbeez is considered 100% biodegradable since the super absorbent polymers comprising Orbeez can break down over time.
However, there is ongoing debate regarding their environmental impact, primarily due to the extended degradation period of the polymer base.
So while the verdict is still pending on whether Orbeez balls are genuinely eco-friendly in the long term, the acknowledgment that they are biodegradable implies that, with time, they will decompose and pose no lasting harm to the environment.


Orbeez are a unique and fun product that can provide hours of entertainment for children and adults alike. While they are biodegradable, it’s important to understand that the process can take a long time, especially if they end up in a landfill where conditions for biodegradation are not optimal.

Overall, it’s important to use Orbeez responsibly and make sure that they are disposed of properly. By doing so, we can help to minimize their impact on the environment while continuing to enjoy these fun and unique products.