Biodegradable Wood Glue

Is Wood Glue Biodegradable?

Wood glue, PVA, PVAc glue (Polyvinyl acetate), or white glue, is the most used glue in wood construction as well as home DIY. It is a product derived from the petrochemical industry.

Wood glue is biodegradable because it breaks down fairly quickly in most environments.

PVA is a microscopic plastic particle diluted in water. Even though technically it is a synthetic thermoplastic, it will biodegrade under the right conditions. PVA glue is often used for bookbinding and paper crafting as well as a protective coating for cheese.

Earlier forms of wood glue are known as “hide glue”. Hide glue is made from cattle and horses’ hoofs and bones and has been used for centuries as a wood glue. It has very useful attributes for certain situations and is also biodegradable.

Is Wood Glue Eco Friendly?

Few products derived from petroleum can be considered to be environmentally friendly. Refining crude oil consumes significant quantities of energy and produces a lot of pollution.

Wood glue itself is harmless as a substance and in its finished form poses little danger to natural life or the environment.

Is Wood Glue Recyclable?

No. Glue is designed to be used once. Recycling glue that has already been applied and has dried would be difficult as it can’t be returned to its previous liquid form.

Materials (such as wood or paper) that have been adhered with wood glue can be recycled.

What Other Types of Glue are Biodegradable?

There are two main water-soluble polymer types: polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH).

PVOH is biodegradable and water soluble. It is commonly used in adhesive systems and is often blended with polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) to make wood adhesives.


Wood glue is biodegradable and will break down quickly given the right conditions. Wood glue is also water soluble.

About The Author