For many people, the idea of chucking away organic waste in a regular trash bag is counterproductive. And, indeed, most of your food trash won’t biodegrade in a landfill anyway.
So whats the eco-friendly alternative?
I want to share with you a few reasons why you should swap out your regular trash bags for the more sustainable biodegradable trash bags.
I’ll also be giving you a list of the most viable alternatives to help you on you’re biodegradable trash bag journey.
Why Use Biodegradable Trash Bags?
Let’s start with; there’re better of the environment than your regular trash bag. At least biodegradable bags break down eventually.
But, biodegradable trash bags still have their own issues when buried under piles of trash. The problem is the trash bags don’t get subjected to the right conditions; this includes:
And that’s why looking for trash bags that are biodegradable and compostable is the best option.
The compostable trash bags break down a lot easier than standard biodegradable trash bags. And they don’t leave toxins behind. Which, unfortunately, some biodegradable bin bags do.
Anyway, mixing organic food waste with plastic seems stupid. We all have the opportunity to home compost, why mix great compost with plastic?
And if you can’t home compost, then commercial composting sites can take care of the waste; but you’ll need to get compostable bags. If you don’t, it’s likely it will just end up being sent to the landfill.
In 2015, it’s thought over 40 million tons of food waste was generated, and 76% got sent to landfill sites. That makes up for around 22% of all discarded waste. The worst thing is all this organic, compostable, and biodegradable trash is likely to stay there forever.
They think 1/3 of all food gets wasted, which let’s face it, is a problem in itself, but it’s having harmful effects on landfill sites too. You might think it doesn’t, but it does.
The biodegradable waste isn’t subjected to the right conditions needed to decompose, so we start to see an increase in methane gas.
This is why we need to start composting and using biodegradable bags. It will help to lower the effects the greenhouse gases are having on the planet.
What Are Biodegradable Trash Bags Made Of?
Biodegradable trash bags can be from various materials. The problem is some biodegradable trash bags use petrochemicals, which makes them no better than regular trash bags.
Which is another reason I like to go for biodegradable and compostable trash bags.
Compostable bags break down much quicker because there made with cornstarch or potato starch. So no petrochemicals and no harming the environment.
When choosing a biodegradable bag, there are a few things you need to watch for. There are so many products out there that sound biodegradable, but that doesn’t mean they are. Make sure you watch out for these:
- Bio-or Plant-based – This means the plastic is made from plants, but that doesn’t mean it’s biodegradable. If you buy Bio-or plant-based trash bags, make sure you check it’s been certified by BPI.
- Bioplastic – This is one of the more confusing terms. It could mean that the plastic is biodegradable and compostable, great, right? Well, unfortunately not, it could also mean that it’s made from plant-based materials.
- Degradable – It is a little easier to get your head around, but still confusing. It means the product is neither biodegradable or compostable. Pretty pointless if you ask me!
How Long Do Biodegradable Trash Bags Take To Decompose?
It’s not known precisely and heavily depends on the brand and the conditions it’s subjected too. But, they do think around three to six months to decompose fully.
But, if you’re not careful with what brand of trash bags your use. There’s a chance you might find it’s no better for the environment than regular trash bags.
Look for trash bags that are compostable and biodegradable. When exposed to moisture, they start to break down, and they don’t leave pieces of plastic behind.
How quickly compostable trash bags take to decompose depends on:
- The PH level of the soil
What To Look For When Buying Biodegradable Trash Bags
When you looking to but anything there are certain things you need to look out for. check out my list for biodegradable trash bags:
As always, you should check the price, especially if you’re on a budget. And with all the brands offering different quantities, it’s a good idea to compare it with the price.
The most common size is around 13 gallons, but that doesn’t mean they have the same dimensions. If you have 13-gallon trash can try and match the dimension.
There’s nothing worse than trying to pull-out a heavy bag of trash when it’s made with thin plastic. A thicker bag reduces the risk of splitting.
Every brand comes with its own count per roll. If you regularly use biodegradable plastic bags, then it’s a good idea to buy brands that offer the highest count.
Everyone has there own preferences drawstring or handles; it’s up to you. Compostable trash bags are just as versatile as the traditional plastic trash bags. So if you want drawstring, then you have an eco-friendly version out there.
What Are The Best Biodegradable Trash Bags?
Maybe you’re still struggling to make a decision or maybe you’re not sure where to start?
If this describes you in any way then I’m here to help. I’ve been using biodegradable and compostable trash bags for years. So I made a list of the best biodegradable garbage bags I could find:
UNNI ASTM D6400 13 Gallon
ach bag is 23.75 Inches x 29.375 Inches, with a thickness of 0.85 mils.
UNNI trash bags are BPI certified so they can get sent to commercial compost sites.
They guarantee 100% biodegradability in home composting while using the highest biobased content in plant starches.
That means no polyethylene.
The durable and non-toxic bags make the perfect alternative for your traditional kitchen trash bags.
- 13 gallons
- 23.75 inches x 29.375 inches
- 0.85 mill thick
- 50 bags per roll
- BPI Certified
Thes big trash bags have no issue filling a 13-gallon trash bin. It’s nice to see ASTM D6400 being used as a highly biodegradable plastic alternative. Although it does seem this particular brand does the job a little too well. Definitely worth thinking about your waste habits.
- 100% compostable
- No polyethylene
- Works too well
UNNI ASTM D6400 2.6 Gallon
Each bag is 16.3 inches x 16.5 inches.
The rolls contain 100 Compostable trash bags and also have a bulk buy offer of 600 trash bags.
It’s a great organic waste collection bag.
The best bit is its BPI certified for home composting.
The bags should be used within a year and kept away from excessive heat, to ensure long life.
These are ideal kitchen trash bags for any home.
- 2.6 gallons
- 16.3 inches x 16.5 inches
- 0.71 mill thick
- 100 bags per roll
- BPI certified
It’s nice to have small compostable bags. I hate having to clean the food waste container in my kitchen. Having small bags like this really makes the difference. But, unless you go through a lot of food waste, then these trash bags aren’t for you. They’ll dissolve by the time you fill it.
- An ideal countertop bin liner
- No polyethylene
- Leaks if food is left in there too long
Primode 13 Gallon
For extra strength, the trash bag is 0.87 mm thick.
The eco-friendly trash bags are made with a corn and vegetable plastic, which is certified by BPI-ASTM D6400.
Their compostable trash bags can decompose in a home compost setting.
As the bags decompose, they leave nutrient-rich minerals, water, and Co2.
The compostable bags can fit in most tall bins and make a great alternative to plastic bags.
- 50 per roll
- 13 gallons
- 23.8 inches x 29.4 inches
- 0.87 mm thick
- BPI certified
Overall the compostable trash bag is an excellent size and very durable. But, it’s a shame about the problem with the leaking. The plant-based plastic cant be home composted, so make sure you check there’s a commercial composting scheme in your area.
- Uses a corn and vegetable plastic
- Guaranteed compostable
- Leaves nutrient-rich minerals
- leaks after a few days
Inwaysin 13 Gallon
They use plant starch as a new type of PSM.
Which means is can biodegrade without leaving any traces.
Each roll comes with 75 kitchen trash bags and comes in a pack of five.
Each one of their waste bags is a massive 24.8 inches x 31.5 inches, with a thickness of 1 mill.
The waste bags are a lot stronger than your average compostable garbage bags.
- 13-gallon bag
- 75 garbage bags per roll
- 18.8 inches x 31.5 inches
- One mill thick
- Much tougher
Inwaysin makes some solid, durable bags that can hold well over 13 gallons of trash. A contender for any kitchen draw. I do have some worries about the materials. It says it their compostable bags, but it also claims to be bioplastics. It’s just something to think about.
- Very thick
- No tearing
- Very large
- Made with bioplastics
So remember, there are a few things you need to look out for before choosing your compostable trash bags. First, the most effective material is ASTM D6400; it degrades the quickest and leaves no traces.
Secondly, think about how many compostable bags you’re likely to go through; if you use a lot, why not bulk buy? It will save money and time.
Some compostable trash bags are scented, so if you want your kitchen smelling a little fresher, then it’s an excellent option for you.
Durability is a massive factor with compostable bags, there notoriously thin. Having a bag split in your kitchen is a nightmare. Choose a nice durable bag to avoid this horrible situation.
Lastly, think about the size. Nothing grinds my gears more than a poorly fitted bin bag. Check the manufactures sizes and try to match it to your bin.
If you liked this kitchen bin episode or if you have any questions, please comment below. And please don’t forget to share it, lets cut down on plastic trash together.
Do you want to lower your carbon footprint and cut down on more plastic? Take a look at my article about reusable grocery bags.