"Laundry and dishwasher detergent pods made with polyvinyl alcohol, or PVA, contribute to plastics pollution in US waterways."
"New York City is considering limiting the types of laundry and dishwashing detergents available in the five boroughs. City Council Member James Gennaro, a Democrat, introduced a bill on Thursday that would make it illegal to sell or distribute detergent pods or laundry sheets that contain polyvinyl alcohol, also known as PVA or PVOH. If approved, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2026.
“The introduction of this bill is a clarion call to rally the scientific community, to to help out in this public policy question about what do we do about the fate of PVA's,” Gennaro told Bloomberg Green. “I have a lot of concerns about what this does to aquatic ecosystems.”
While detergent pods and sheets “dissolve” in the wash, PVA is ultimately a type of plastic. The bill notes that microplastics (bits of plastic less than 5 millimeters long) and nanoplastics (one-millionth of a millimeter) are ubiquitous sources of pollution in US waterways. Increasingly, these tiny plastic particles are all but impossible to escape. Scientists have found them in paint, on glaciers and even in rain. Around the world, more than 700,000 tons of PVA are produced annually, according to a 2018 study, a figure that’s rising 4% every year."