Skip to Content

Is Resin Bad for the Environment? What You Need to Know

It is not uncommon for people to make the argument that resin is bad for the environment. Is resin bad for the environment? They argue this because it is a petroleum product, and they believe its production process is too harmful. But is it? This article will explore both sides of the issue in an attempt to answer that question.

What is resin?

Cup Holder Made With Resin

Resins are chemical products that must be hardened to make plastic-like products. Some resins are manufactured, while others are natural and non-ecological.

It just needs to be handled with extreme care. Resins can be used in the making of jewelry and coasters, as well as trays/boxes, clips, dog tags, and are commonly found in glue and varnishes.

See Related: Best Products to Help Climate Change

Are there different types of resin?

The word resin does not simply refer to one material but rather a family of substances. However, most of these are manufactured from plastic. Many different types of resin are used in the production of plastic goods.

There are four common types that you and I use for doing arts and crafts or to coat and seal surfaces. These are often used to produce common-day things including household furniture and appliances.

The resin is used in several ways however listing all categories at once would be far too difficult.

See Related: Best Composting Books You Need to Know

Polyester/Fiberglass Resin

Fiberglass is a type of resin commonly used for filling gaps and maintenance. It’s one of the most common uses in the marine industry, where it’s used to make boats. It’s also widely utilized in restaurants, bathrooms, and other rooms that require a lot of cleanings, such as restrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

In many cases, fiberglass is combined with resin to create a durable and waterproof coating. Some of the most common uses of fiberglass are in shower stalls, molding around bathtubs/shower units, and backsplashes.

See Related: Best Solar Lamp Post

Epoxy Resin

Epoxy is a rather well-known resin in the marketplace. Epoxy is molded into two parts liquid form and used to create a hard shell. Epoxy is commonly utilized in the maritime sector for making deep-sea equipment and tools that require high strength. Because of its chemical composition, epoxy has a distinct solid appearance from other resins.

See Related: Best Clothing Companies That Plant Trees

Polyurethane Resin

This is another type of resin that may be found in several sectors. Because it is more durable than fiberglass, it is only encountered in heavy-duty equipment and tools that must endure strong pressure. Polyurethane resins, like epoxy resins, are two-part liquid formulations used to create hard coatings.

See Related: Most Beautiful Eco-Friendly Rugs

Silicone Resin

Silicone is a type of resin that’s frequently utilized in kitchens. Because this sort of resin is highly resistant to heat and an insulator, it has often been used in electrical applications. Silicone is regarded as safe for consumption and capable of repelling water. Tooling tools and molds are formed from this fluid substance.

See Related: Are Bath and Body Works Candles Toxic?

What is the difference between natural resin and synthetic resin?

Natural resins are made from plants, trees, insects, seafood, fossils of plants, and other organic materials. They include organic components such as cellulose or lignin that can be found in smooth bark on certain bushes.

Amber, copals, dammar gum, kauri gum, balsams/resins produced from conifer trees, and shellac are all different types of natural resin.

Synthetic resins are a mixture of oil and solid components that can be combined to create synthetic polymers such as cellulose nitrate, xanthate, petroleum pitch, terpene resins (such as those produced from pine trees), and isocyanates.

Synthetic resins are made in a factory setting with petroleum products. They are manufactured in big metal vats by many different companies all over the world, but they are most often seen in the form of plastics.

There is a certain amount of controversy surrounding the use of synthetic resins because they are made from petroleum, which is often considered to be an environmental hazard in itself.

See Related: Best Compostable Trash Bags

Is Resin Toxic?

Applying Resin

Epoxy resin, on the other hand, is less hazardous in its liquid form than when it hardens. Some of the chemicals that make up most resins have been linked to cancer in people and animals. They can cause significant damage to both water and soil.

The toxicity of resin to humans decreases once it has hardened. When working with any sort of resin, it’s best to do so in a well-ventilated area while wearing gloves.

Silicone resin is deemed non-toxic and food-ready, although silicone resin has not been used in liquid form. Despite utilizing chemicals, silicone plastic is highly durable with high tolerances for heat, thus these compounds are unlikely to be released unless the product is consumed.

See Related: Biodegradable Glitters for Candles

Is Resin Bad for the Environment?

Resin is neither toxic nor harmful to the environment in and of itself. But the process required to produce it is another story entirely. The components of resin production, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemicals like styrene, isobutylene, and formaldehyde, is extremely hazardous to the environment.

Most casting resins used in resin art are synthetic resins made of chemicals. Chemicals can leach into the environment polluting water and soil. On the other hand, fossil fuels have contributed to the soaring climate crisis and its effects globally.

The problem is further divided and understood based on the resin type used in manufacturing this resin and how it is used in resin art.

The resin is made from a cracking process in which hydrocarbons are heated into different molecules. Polymer compounds in plastic can be bonded to create specific adhesive resins. The majority of resin arts are produced from chemicals.

See Related: Energy Conservation Techniques

Is Resin Good for the Environment?

To produce resin, you must have oil at your disposal. In this sense alone is it somewhat hazardous for the environment because it is a petroleum product. But one could argue that since we are efficiently using oil, is not bad for the environment. Resin is also very durable, lasting nearly forever.

This is beneficial to the environment because it means that products made with resin will last longer than they would if made of other materials.

Resin is easily recyclable and makes for efficient use of resources. One could argue that using resins in place of other materials is beneficial to the environment, even if it is made with oil.

See Related: Best Compostable Plates

How long does it take for the resin to decompose?

Synthetic resins are made of fossil fuels so they will be biodegraded forever. Alternative resins are 100% recyclable and bio-degradable. However, there were not many rumors about how long it would take to fully decompose.

They are also designed to be extremely durable and last longer before they need to be recycled without contaminating anything natural.

All resources available advocate the use of recycled instead of the disposal of plastic resins though they may be easily recycled and repurposed back into some new plastic.

It is therefore unclear how long that recyclable resin will decompose.

See Related: Environmental Consequences of Fracking

How do I dispose of resin properly?

When the liquid resin has hardened and is wet enough to remove the remaining solution with ordinary trash. The release of hazardous chemicals from resin that remains on a glass’s surface pollutes the environment. It also can’t be discarded in this manner because it pollutes water.

To eliminate liquid resin, add it to a box filled with HDPE plastic, as is the case with scrap resin. This is also is recycled into new resin or household items like shampoo containers.

You can mix them in a plastic bag filled with used HDPE plastic for disposal by recycling companies to make new products.

See Related: Is Parchment Paper Compostable?

Can resin be recycled?

An adhesive is used to bond the two pieces together, giving them an additional layer of strength. The two largest types of commercial flooring are epoxy resin and polyurethane.

These materials are not technically recyclable because they contain harmful chemicals. It costs money and energy to recycle these goods since they can only be recycled in specific ways.

They can’t be recycled in their current state because doing so would cause them to break down. Most large businesses can recycle resin. Because we can’t access these facilities from here, we’re not able to recycle resin. You may not transport resin from your hometown recycling center to another facility.

See Related: Best Solar Refrigerators and Freezers

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Resin

There are more natural and environmentally friendly alternatives to resins. But they’re probably less expensive than synthesized rubber.

But we’re also supposed to mention that these goods are much more environmentally conscious but are still thought of as potentially harmful.

But it’s a small price for being less harmful to the environment.

See Related: Best Erosion Control Products

1. Seal-Once Eco-Friendly Wood Sealer

The Seal-Once Eco-Friendly Wood Sealer

SEAL-ONCE offers sealers and stains that are more environmentally responsible than other brands. The business is also a member of the US Green Building Council. The sealer manufacturer is based in the United States.

See Related: How to Make Home More Energy Efficient?

2. CCR Bio resin

The CCR Bio resin

The usage of CCR bio-resin in casting and crafting is possible. It has a bio-based component of 30%. It’s more environmentally friendly than other resins. It can also be referred to as a bioproduct.

See Related: Are Coffee Filters Compostable?

Conclusion

Yes, producing resin is harmful to the environment (at least while doing so). Petroleum is typically used in the production of resin. There are negative consequences associated with extracting oil from the ground and preparing it for usage in manufacturing pieces.

The production process often involves chemicals like acetone, which can cause nerve damage in workers overseeing its manufacture. It also uses release agents (a deep fryer for example) that contain toxic compounds that find their way into air and soil afterward. This type of chemical pollution contributes to environmental degradation.

Thus resin has both direct and indirect environmental effects which need to be considered before using it.

In certain areas, various resin kinds are considered toxic. Although silicone resin is somewhat less polluting than epoxy resin, it is not utilized as a liquid for coatings because epoxy or Polyurethane resins are used.

Even with minute traces of hazardous chemicals, they aren’t entirely safe. Please spread the news. We’d want to make the world a better place.

See Related: Amazing Sustainable Swimwear

FAQs

Is resin biodegradable?

Any product can take several decades to completely biodegrade and may release harmful substances during the production process. Even silicone and other resins are not biodegradable since they contain harsh chemicals. Resins are a product of crude oil refining. There is no such thing as biodegradable resin when it’s in a synthetic form.

Why is resin dangerous?

During production, epoxy resins can cause very slight damage. It can cause allergic contact dermatitis. The epoxy resin is thought non-toxic.

Are resin products eco-friendly?

Hardeners are used to make resin products resemble plastic. Some resin products are environmentally friendly, non-environmentally friendly, or biodegradable.
A resin may be utilized in a variety of areas, including art and design furniture. If you plan to use art resin or something for DIY projects, ensure you choose an environmentally friendly option.

Related Resources