Plastic Bag VS Compostable Bag

In a world where plastic waste continues to plague our environment, with a staggering 400 million tonnes produced annually, half of which is single-use like plastic shopping bags, it’s high time for a change. This plastic menace infiltrates our waterways, eventually reaching the oceans, where estimates suggest that between 75 and 199 million tonnes of plastic now reside.

The impact on wildlife is dire, but it’s not just animals suffering – humans are too. Plastic doesn’t decompose; it breaks down into microplastics, entering our bodies through inhalation and absorption. This introduces harmful chemicals like methyl mercury, plasticisers, and flame retardants, the long-term effects of which are still unknown.

Enter the quest for alternatives, and here’s why compostable bags are gaining traction.

The Downside of Plastic Bags and Single-Use Plastics

Plastic bags are a major contributor to environmental degradation. They persist for years, contributing to pollution and harming ecosystems. Governments worldwide are taking action to curb plastic use, with bans on single-use plastics gaining momentum.

The Role of Compostables

While bans on single-use plastics are a step in the right direction, they create a void in the market. Compostable bags provide solutions for tasks like lining garbage bins, collecting pet waste, and replacing certain plastic products not covered by regulations.

What Are Compostable Bags?

Compostable bags, made from materials like PBAT and PLA, decompose like banana peels. It’s crucial to distinguish “compostable” from terms like “biodegradable” or “oxo-degradable,” which often include polyethylene and don’t decompose completely.

The Composting Process

Compostable bags require specific conditions in commercial composting facilities to decompose fully. This process yields only three by-products: water, a small amount of CO2, and humus – a nutrient-rich organic material.

Two Reasons Compostable Bags Benefit the Environment

  1. Supporting Plastic Phase-Out: As jurisdictions ban single-use plastics, compostable bags offer a sustainable alternative, reducing the need for unnecessary plastic purchases.
  2. Encouraging Behavior Change: Compostable bags make composting more convenient, encouraging participation and reducing contamination. They offer a clean composting experience, leading to higher composting rates.

Choosing Environmentally-Friendly Compostable Bags

When seeking compostable bags, look for BPI certification and Compost Manufacturing Alliance approval. Consider strength and reliability, ensuring the bags fit your composting bin snugly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compostable Bags

  1. What Are Compostable Bags Made Of? Compostable bags are typically composed of compostable biopolymers, PBAT, and PLA.
  2. What Can I Put in a Compostable Bag? Compostable bags are suitable for food scraps, yard waste, and other compostable materials.
  3. How Do I Use a Compostable Bag? Place it in a compost bin, add waste, and let it decompose in a commercial composting facility.
  4. How Do I Store a Compostable Bag? Store in a dry, cool place away from sunlight, and use before the expiration date.
  5. Are There Drawbacks to Using Compostable Bags? They require a composting environment, won’t decompose in regular trash cans, and may be more expensive than plastic bags. Despite drawbacks, they are the cleanest way to collect organic waste.

Research Before You Buy

While compostable bags offer environmental benefits, they need proper disposal in commercial composting facilities. Check local composting programs and facility capabilities before making a purchase. Let’s make informed choices for a greener future.

Every Bit of Kindness Counts

Scroll to Top