Are Orbeez (Water Beads) Biodegradable?

Growing up was fun for many of us. Part of what made it fun was having a lot of Orbeez (aka water beads) to play with. The joy of watching tiny balls expand when we put them in water was enough to make our day. If you never played with Orbeez before, then it probably means you did not grow up in this part of the world.

Even if you ask kids, they will explain why they are obsessed with it and what joy Orbeez brings to them. Such is the reputation that Orbeez enjoys over here. But that’s not the issue today.

What concerns us is the aftermath of the fun. We all know that you can’t play with Orbeez forever. Even if you put the Orbeez to different creative uses, you can’t have them around forever. So, what happens when they seem to wear out and lose their use?

For many of us, what comes to mind is for us to throw them away. However, do we ever wonder what happens after this? Do they biodegrade? Or do they remain in the environment for a long time?

In this post, we will answer all these questions. Dive in!

Can Orbeez (Water Beads) Biodegrade Quickly?

Orbeez (aka water beads) comes in such a way that it can biodegrade quickly. If you have been following, you would have noticed that Orbeez has a great water-absorbent ability. And they are biodegradable.

This informs why many farmers and gardeners still use them to keep the soil moisture around their plant wet. The fact that it biodegrades readily gives them the confidence to use it to beautify their garden flowers.

So, that’s it. If you have been wondering if Orbeez is biodegradable, you now have your answer. Yes, it does. However, this should not be a green light for you to litter the environment with worn-out Orbeez.

There are better ways to dispose of them. We will talk about how to do this later in the post. We will also touch on how not to dispose of the Orbeez. This is to help you know the pros and cons of disposing of Orbeez. We love the environment, and we want you to care for it as we also care for it.

Are Orbeez Bad For the Environment?

The level of environmental consciousness in everyone is very commendable. And that is why we want to know what would harm the environment before we opt-in for them.

Fortunately, Orbeez is not on the list of things that can harm the environment. The reason for this is in the feature of Orbeez.

Orbeez is entirely biodegradable and safe for use. They are not toxic, and they don’t contain any harmful chemicals that can harm the environment.

They are highly recommendable for use. They are sustainable and can’t harm your kids if they play with them.

However, this right part of Orbeez should not give you the go-ahead to deal with them anyhow. You still need to take some caution when dealing with them. This is because you don’t want them to end up in the wrong place like the river.

Ending up in the river or sea could be a problem. You would recall that Orbeez does very well in water and only expands in size. This means they can remain in a moist area for a very long time.

If they remain in the water body for too long, sea animals could see them as potential food and begin to feed on them. This is bad and could cause harm to marine life.

So, while you know that they can biodegrade, you should also be careful how you dispose of them.

Is Orbeez Environmentally Friendly?

Orbeez (water beads) is not just friends to humans; they are also a great friend to the environment. Yes, we can say that Orbeez is environmentally friendly. This is why we can say so.

Orbeez is environmentally friendly because they are one hundred percent biodegradable. When they end up in landfills or any other land area, they don’t pose problems for the environment. They would eventually decompose.

They are not like plastic or other materials that take forever to biodegrade. They also don’t contain toxic chemicals.

More so, you can always put them to different uses. Instead of throwing them away after the first use, you can use them in your garden. Many gardeners and farmers use Orbeez to keep the moisture around their flowers and other plants wet. They do this because they believe that the Orbeez can’t harm their plants and flowers. And that they will eventually decompose, nourishing the soil even more.

So, if you have not been settled about Orbeez being environmentally friendly, you can beat your chest now.

Are Orbeez Made Up of Plastic?

Anybody could ask you this question anytime. It could be your kids or even your partner. So, knowing the right answer would stop you from stuttering.

Although it looks like plastic materials, Orbeez, however, is not plastic materials. So, if not plastic, what material do they come from?

Manufacturers make Orbeez with a polymer. But these polymer beads are like hydrogel, which can absorb a lot of water. It looks very much like plastic materials, but it is not.

An easy way to prove this is by considering the biodegradability of Orbeez alongside that of plastic. Plastic materials take hundreds of years before they biodegrade. This is not the case for Orbeez. Even farmers and gardeners use Orbeez on their farm and garden plants to keep the soil moist.

So, feel free to say it everywhere that Orbeez is not a product of plastic materials.

How Long Does It Take for Orbeez to Decompose?

Indeed, Orbeez is not like plastic materials that take hundreds of years to decompose. What is also true is that Orbeez doesn’t decompose overnight? They may take up to a decade before they finally decompose. The reason for this is not farfetched.

Orbeez can soak in moisture. Each time it rains, it soaks in water, which slows down its ability to break down quickly. So, it takes a longer time than normal.


How Do You Dispose of Orbeez? (Safe Ways to Dispose of Orbeez)

This is a question we get almost all the time. People often get confused about how to dispose of Orbeez. The problem here is not just disposing them but learning to dispose of them properly.

However, disposing of them is easy if you stick to the safe way of doing this. So, what are the safe ways to do this? Here you go.

1. Put Them in Your Garden Plants

This is one of the safe ways to get rid of the Orbeez you are not using again. You can pour them into your flower pots. Or you can mix them with the soil to keep the soil wet. If you do this, it will help you reduce the time you spend watering your plants.

This is because the Orbeez absorbs excess water and serves as a reservoir for your plant. Hence, when the plant needs water, it releases the water it has absorbed.

You don’t have to worry about them harming your plants; they would eventually decompose. The good part is that they would help nourish your soil and make your plants grow faster and more robust.

2. Put Them in the Garbage Bin

Yes, you can also put the Orbeez in the trash bin outside. However, if you are doing this, you need to do it well. And here’s how to do it well.

First, bag your Orbeez. You can get a paper bag or a plastic bag for this. But note that if you are using a paper bag, ensure that you have shrieked the water in the Orbeez. This ensures that the bag doesn’t get wet and tear when you put the Orbeez in it.

After bagging your Orbeez, you need to seal the bag or tie it if you use a plastic bag. Then, you can dispose of the sealed bag in the trash bin outside. This process is essential to prevent the Orbeez from slipping out of the trash can.

If it slips out, it can cause injury to passerby. Your pets can even mistake them for food and eat them.

So, make sure you are doing the right thing with your Orbeez. Dispose of them very well.

How Do You NOT Dispose of Orbeez? (Wrong Ways to Dispose of Orbeez)

Knowing how to dispose of things properly is not enough these days. Besides, we also need to know how not to dispose of them. This is important because we often get used to doing things and think we can do them in another way. Most times, these other ways turn out to be the wrong way of doing things.

It is crucial you know ways of doing things that you need to stay clear of. Here, we take you through how not to dispose of your Orbeez.

1. Don’t Flush Them

This is very important for you to know. Many people think that since the Orbeez look very small, they can flush them down without worrying. Well, they’re mistaken.

You would recall that Orbeez expands very well in water. The implication of this is that if you flush them down the drain, they would store up and grow. With time, they expand well enough to clog your drainage pipes. This clog will stop the free passage of water and make things uncomfortable for you and your family.

You don’t want to experience this. So, it is better you stay clear from flushing down your Orbeez, whether through the toilet or the kitchen drainage.

2. Don’t Pour Them Out

Sometimes we get frustrated with things that we dispose of them by throwing them on the floor. Aside from this being a bad environmental habit, it is also not safe. When you are dealing with Orbeez, you need to be even more careful.

Orbeez is often moist. This is because they absorb water. They are also round and very slippery. If you pour them on the floor, they could injure a passerby who runs over them. Even your kids’ bicycle could slip over them.

Of course, when this happens, there is the potential for injury or fracture to occur. This is not being safe at all. So, always take caution when disposing of your Orbeez.


Now, you know all about the environmental impact of Orbeez. You can see that they are not just friends to humans; they are also great friends to the environment. This makes it safe for you and your kids to play with them.

But, remember, this does not mean you should throw caution to the wind when dealing with Orbeez. Always remember that the abuse of a thing is still bad for everyone. Be conscious not to abuse it, but feel free to enjoy your time with Orbeez.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.