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Is PVA in Breastmilk?

You've probably seen Blueland's latest campaign, the "Pods are Plastic Bill," making waves everywhere from social media to morning shows.

They're pitching that cleaning pods (yep, like our HopePodz) are just undercover villains in the plastic pollution narrative, directly opposing their own tablet products.

Caught up in the whirlwind, I've been digging deep into their claims — armed with nothing but a recent science degree and a relentless spirit.

It's the classic underdog tale – a vibrant youth-led team from Canada (us), versus the Goliath Blueland, with their hefty funding ($30M USD) and bold assertions.

This post kicks off a series where I will dissect Blueland's claims one by one. So let's dive into the science, shall we?

Blueland's FIRST False Claim:

Blueland says PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) – the stuff that surrounds our pods – has snuck into human breastmilk and they cite this study.


Right up front, the article says: “The most abundant microplastics [found in the samples] were composed of polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polypropylene."  

SPOILER: None of these polymers exist in PVA. In fact, PVA is used instead of these harmful plastics.


How can Blueland claim that PVA is found in breastmilk?

So we have covered that the main polymers found in breastmilk are NOT PVA, so how can Blueland make the claim that PVA is found in breastmilk?


Well, buried in the study, PVA was found in 2% (1 out of 34) of test subjects. And the fraction of samples was not connected to any detergent or pod. According to this poster from ACI, the PVA particle found was brown in colour, whereas the PVA used for dish detergents are clear.


The Verdict: is PVA in Breastmilk?

Let me put your mind at ease, the PVA used in detergent pods are NOT found in breastmilk.

For all of the eco-conscious moms out there, rest assured. Decades of science back PVA's safety in cleaning products.


Why is Blueland Doing This?

Why does a heavyweight like Blueland shake up the scene with iffy science?


Blueland's campaign can be seen as a calculated move to carve out a significant presence in the rapidly growing market for sustainable products. The sustainable cleaning products market is expected to surge to over $110 billion by 2026. Similarly, the PVA market is projected to grow along with the expansive sustainable packaging marketing forecasts (which includes Blueland's tablets as well as our pods).

By trying to discredit PVA, Blueland elevates their brand as a preferable alternative but also capitalizes on the growing demand for eco-friendly products. Other corporations believe that Blueland "has an interest in preventing other companies from using PVA".


You will probably be surprised to find out that this isn’t the first time that Blueland has pushed for PVA to be banned. That’s right, Blueland tried this same thing back in 2022. However, this was quickly turned away for multiple reasons. The ACI called this maneuver by Blueland a “Disappointing Misinformation Campaign” and would go on to talk about how Blueland is ignoring “Decades of Real-World Science”.


What's Next?

Blueland's narrative doesn't stop here, and neither do we. Stay tuned as we tackle more of their claims head on.


Still skeptical? We've got graphics and links that clearly debunk the myths and shed light on PVA's true nature.

Join the Conversation

Support science-backed, eco-safe cleaning with HopePodz. Shop here.


Missed our previous posts? Catch up here for more on PVA in the eco-sphere.

Here is the blog where we talk about how PVA is NOT found in drinking water.

Here is the blog where we talk about how PVA IS biodegradable.

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