What are Water Beads and Orbeez?
Water beads, also known by many children and parents as the global brand Orbeez are tiny balls that can increase their size by 150 times. These tiny beads have the possibility of reaching sizes of 15mm when fully absorbed.
They are colorful super absorbent polymer beads. These beads are made from sodium hydroxide, acrylic acid, and eventually water. They get their color not from a plastic film but actually from a natural color pigment that is added.
This composition makes Orbeez non-toxic and safe to play with. However, they should always be cleaned and handled with care as reuses could pass on bacteria.
Disposing of Water Beads and Orbeez
There are two ways that you can dispose of your water beads. Water beads were created by agriculturalists, this was to help farmers and gardeners control soil moisture around their crops and plants. The water beads will absorb excess water and slowly release it as the water starts to dry up. With this in mind and knowing that they biodegrade with time, it's fine to bury them in the soil in your garden near your plants.
The other solution would be to put them in the bin safely. If possible place the water beads within a paper bag(doing so after they have been dehydrated) and seal it tight. This will ensure that they don't spill out at any point. They will eventually break down as they are 100% biodegradable.
What not to do with Water Beads and orbeez
You should avoid flushing water beads down the toilet or sink. Although they may appear small as they do absorb water they will grow in size in your drainage system. This can cause horrific consequences with the water beads clogging up your pipes and leading to sewage becoming backed up.
Although they are safe for kids, they can cause harm to small creatures that may ingest them. Therefore it's best to not leave them out in the garden or throwing them away into the environment.