Updated on March 30, 2020

Review: Full Circle Walnut Shell Scour Pads

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In an effort to switch to low or zero-waste products in my home, I saw these plant-based scour pads from Full Circle Home on iHerb. They were advertised as “WALNUT SHELL SCOUR PADS. — Scrubbing pad made from walnut shells for natural scouring power.”

Sounds and looks eco-friendly and green, right? — Oh boy, I was wrong.

I foolishly thought Full Circle’s Walnut Shell Sponges were compostable and biodegradable merely because they looked like it and because of the packaging. Looking back now, I should have known better than to judge a book by its cover.

It turns out, the pad is made from walnut shells and recycled plastic.

Nowhere on the product packaging or on iHerb’s website product description states that this product contains recycled plastic.

I reached out to Full Circle Home and asked if their Walnut Shell Scour Pads were biodegradable or compostable, they said:

Great question! The Walnut scour is made with recycled fibers with ground walnut shells. The walnut shell flour makes up less than 10% of the composition of the entire abrasive. The remaining percentage is recycled PET (which usually comes from water bottles, juice bottles, etc.). These materials are not compostable or biodegradable.

uh… WHAT?! Less than 10%!??!

They should call this RECYCLED PLASTIC SCOUR PAD instead.

On the surface, these “walnut shell” + recycled plastic scour pads are in theory, a greener option compared to other synthetic/virgin plastic scouring pads on the market since they are made from recycled plastic after all.

So if you’re looking for a slightly better eco-friendly alternative to your Scotch-Brite, then you might like this. They work almost as good as other scouring pads and do the job of gently removing dirt while not scratching my pans.

But if you’re like me, and a bunch of other people on Amazon who also bought Full Circle’s ‘Walnut Shell’ Scouring Pads looking for a compostable or biodegradable alternative, this is not the answer.

I’m not upset that Full Circle Home has made an effective alternative while using recycled plastic. Good for them. Keep it up.

I’m disappointed that there was no mention of recycled plastic on their product packaging, as well as, on iHerb’s product description. Only on their website, on a separate tab, is where Full Circle states recycled plastic is in this product.

I asked on Instagram for recommendations for eco-friendly and plastic-free dish sponges and scouring pads and got a couple of suggestions to try coconut husks and loofahs. What other low or zero waste sponges do you recommend?

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What do you think

2 thoughts on “Review: Full Circle Walnut Shell Scour Pads”

  1. Not only is the lack of full disclosure that these pads are made of plastic deceptive to the consumer, it is potentially harmful – people, not realizing they are not compostable, will throw them out in their compost pail, where they will contaminate the compost center’s actual compost with plastic.

  2. I assume these walnut pads break down into the water system much the same as Scrub Daddy and destroy fish and other water life?

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