Did you know that clay is the most common spill absorbent product and that the use of clay clean-up products is a source of several major problems today?
In addition to ordinary consumers, clay spill clean-up products are also used in many other walks of life including but not limited to government agencies; fleet managers; auto mechanics; gas and service stations; and engineers.
Though clay clean-up products have been the most popular item on the absorbent market for many years, over time, a couple major drawbacks in their use have been uncovered:
- It often requires a large amount of clay absorbent product to clean up even the simplest of spills. This is because clay does not properly absorb a spill; instead the contents of the spill such as oil, merely sticks to the surface of the clay, according to Environmental Expert.
- Clay absorbents actually leak the spill due to a lack of true absorbency. As many worksites either accidentally or intentionally dispose of their used absorbents in a way that is not environmentally friendly (and under EPA guidelines is also illegal) this means that oil, fuels, and chemicals are frequently leaked into landfills. The original spill product then quickly becomes a pollutant that will often run into nearby land and water supplies, where it becomes a potential danger to nearby residents.
Despite the inefficiencies and dangers of using clay absorbents, their popularity remains strong, in part because of the lack of knowledge of their downsides as spill clean-up products.
There are a number of other products on the market that are able to properly absorb oil, fuel, and other spilled products, as highlighted by this SpillFix demo video:
Sadly many companies continue to use dangerous, sub-par absorbents despite the ready availability of safer alternatives. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways consumers and employees like us can make the benefits of products like SpillFix known to the agencies, garages, and other local resources that we use. Here are Environmental Expert’s guidelines to making a difference:
Ask the owner of the garage that works on your car or truck what they use to clean up their spilled oil. If they continue to use clay ask them to change and if they persist, change your mechanic. Ask your legislators to make the appropriate inquiries of state agencies and municipal officials to make the same inquiry of local agencies.
Ask your legislator to sponsor or co-sponsor a ban on the use of clay-based products for oil spill cleanup and to require manufacturers to include a label that properly makes it clear that Hazardous Waste Disposal is Required for Clay-based absorbents.
When you buy oil spill cleanup products for your own household, make sure that you are purchasing sustainable products containing that do not contain clay or chemicals. Through the moral authority of our example we can create a ripple of change that will eventually become a tsunami.
If properly disposed at a hazardous waste facility, the cost of clay will be up to 10 times more than other alternatives. As citizens we can strike a blow for the environment and our respective wallets by boycotting clay-based products right now and demand that state and local governments themselves come into compliance with the law.
Want to learn more about clay products, or about absorbents such as SpillFix? Ask away in the comments – or even better, share your own story about how you made the switch to a true absorbent product!