When talking about the environmental impact of plastic, we often don’t include single-use plastic trash bags. However, they’re one of the most common items that end up in our landfills and oceans. And when you consider how many people use them every day, it’s easy to see why this type of waste has become so prevalent.
The good news? Changing from regular trash bags to biodegradable or compostable ones might seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple and can minimize waste and demand for plastic products.
What is a biodegradable trash bag?
A biodegradable trash can or garbage bag that breaks down naturally when placed into an ordinary landfill, rather than being incinerated like regular plastic ones do. The material used for these types of bags is usually corn starch based.
Biodegradable vs non-biodegradable: What’s the difference?
While both are considered “green” options because they break down over time, there are some key differences between biodegradable and non-biodegradables. Biodegradable materials will degrade at different rates by soil bacteria, while non-degradable plastics won’t decompose until after years have passed.
This means that if your biodegradable trash bags aren’t disposed of properly, they could potentially take decades to fully disintegrate. On top of that, biodegradable bags may not be as durable as their non-biodegradative counterparts. They also tend to cost more money upfront since they require additional manufacturing processes.
What about compostable trash bags?
Compostable trash bags are made of biodegradable materials, such as cornstarch. They can be used for a variety of purposes including composting and bioremediation. Compostable bags have been shown to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by up to 50%. The use of these products has increased in recent years due to their environmental benefits.
Compostable bags work similarly to biodegradable ones, except instead of breaking down in a landfill, they get broken down through natural biological processes such as those found inside a backyard compost pile.
Where should I dispose of my biodegradable trash?
Products that biodegrade and oxidize cannot be recycled. The material is a plastic mix with additional additives that are not recyclable. Biodegradable materials will reduce the quality of new materials if combined with regular plastic recyclables.
Additionally, these items cannot be composted since they break down into smaller pieces of plastic-based material that impact the quality of finished compost.
Your best solution is to place biodegradable trash inside a standard trash bin where it will eventually get picked up by municipal services. If you need to put something out on the curb, make sure to wrap it tightly in newspaper first to prevent any damage to the bag before placing it outside.
The Best Biodegradable Trash Bags in 2021
1. EcoBag® – 100% Recycled Polyester Garbage Bag
EcoBag® is one of the most popular brands of biodegradable trashbags available today. These bags come in several sizes ranging from small to large. Each bag comes with a reusable liner so you don’t have to worry about buying another bag just to reuse its liner. You’ll find them online and in stores nationwide.
2. BioDegree™ Plastic Bag
BioDegree™ is an eco-friendly brand of biodegradable garbage sacks that’s perfect for home or office use. Made from plant based polymers, this product is completely safe for humans and animals alike. It breaks down naturally within 6 months without harming the environment. This makes it ideal for disposing of food scraps, pet litter, and other household wastes.
3. Green Earth Products Inc. – Plant Based Garbage Sack
Green Earth Products’ line of biodegradable bags are designed specifically for commercial applications. Their products include both single layer and double layered options. Both types feature reinforced seams which help ensure durability when handling heavy loads. Additionally, each bag features a unique design that helps keep odors at bay while still allowing air circulation throughout the interior.
4. NatureBox™ – 100% Recycling Paper Garbage Bag
Naturebox™ offers a wide range of paper recycling solutions. One of their top selling lines includes biodegradable garbage bins that are suitable for residential and commercial settings. Available in multiple colors, these bins are easy to clean and maintain. In addition to being environmentally friendly, these bins also offer excellent performance.
5. TerraCycle™ – Compostable Garbage Bag
TerraCycle™ has been offering high performing compostable waste management systems for over 20 years now. They currently sell two different models of biodegradable waste containers: the Classic model and the Deluxe model. Both versions can hold up to 50 pounds of organic matter like food scraps, grass clippings, leaves, etc. The Classic version is made from corn starch based materials whereas the Deluxe option uses potato starch. Either way, these bins are extremely durable and long lasting.
6. Aircover 8-12 Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags
AirCover™ produces some of the highest quality biodegradable trash bags around. With a variety of designs including mesh, solid color, and custom prints, they’re great for indoor and outdoor usage. All of their bags are manufactured using only non-toxic dyes and water based adhesives. Furthermore, all of their liners are removable making cleaning simple.
7. Green Paper Products 13-Gallon Biodegradable Heavier Duty Trash Bags
GreenPaperProducts.com sells a number of different styles of heavier duty biodegradable trash cans. Some of their best sellers include the 13 gallon size as well as the 18 gallon size. Like many of the other items on our list, these bags are constructed out of natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, jute, sisal, linen, and more. Many of these fabrics will break down quickly but others may take longer depending on your climate conditions.
8. Eco Smartbags Eco-Friendly Trash Bags
Eco Smartbags Biodegradable Trash Bags can’t be composted. These are biodegradable trash bags, as their full (and lengthy) name indicates. Although they still break down, they are not made of natural substances. The bags are made of plastic. Due to the use of a special additive that is made from natural materials, this brand was able to turn its plastic garbage bags into biodegradable ones.
Due to the conditions typical of a landfill, the company developed this technology so that the plastic will break down when exposed to microorganisms. In comparison to normal plastic, it breaks down much more quickly.