Why You Should Use Recyclable Trash Bags
What Are Recyclable Trash Bags?
Traditional trash bags and their impact on the environment may not have received as much attention as plastic bags used for grocery shopping, but their carbon footprint is significant. This is why thinks like recyclable trash bags exist.
The exact carbon footprint of a trash bag varies according to what it is made from, its manufacture, how long it travels to reach a destination and its disposal. Adopting some green alternatives can help to reduce the negative impact of plastic trash bags on the environment.
The Pros and Cons of Using Plastic Trash Bags
There are many reasons why people have adopted the use of plastic trash bags. They are convenient, cheap and strong, and they provide a way to manage smelly garbage that could otherwise become a problem.
Plastic trash bags are widely used and eliminating their use is likely to require a holistic approach. Single-use plastics have become a major area of concern and trash bags fall into this category.
Most plastic bags are made from low-density polyethylene that is manufactured by using fossil fuels which are non-renewable. This plastic takes hundreds of years to break down. It also breaks down into micro-plastics which are increasingly ending up in the ocean where they harm marine animals and enter the food supply.
Why Separate Your Trash?
These days there are three types of bags used for collecting waste: blue ones for recycling, black ones for trash and green ones for compost. When you start to separate your trash, you can find alternative ways to contain it and dispose of it.
For example, it is possible to recycle all your paper, glass and metal using transparent recycling bags. Separating all compostable material like food scraps and using a compostable bag for them means that there is far less trash that needs to go into landfills.
Eco-Friendly Trash Bag Options
There are various options when it comes to alternatives to using standard plastic kitchen trash bags.
Recyclable Trash Bags
A greener alternative to buying standard kitchen trash bags is to buy recycled ones. Recyclable trash bags do not require any new plastic to be created, which means less use of oil and energy. They are made from plastics that have already been used by consumers and they are recycled.
Compostable Trash Bags
Compostable trash bags are made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as cornstarch. The exact amount of time they take to decompose will depend on the materials, the thickness of the bag and whether a bag is being composted at home or in industrial facilities.
Compostable bags tend to be less sturdy than other bags and can break quite easily. However, these bags will never turn into bits of plastic in the ocean. Look for certifications on compostable trash bags that tell you they are fully compostable and not made of non-degradable plastics.
Biodegradable Trash Bags
The term “biodegradable” is not protected like the term “compostable” and manufacturers can interpret it differently.
When biodegradable trash bags end up in a landfill, the three elements required for decomposition – moisture, air and sunlight – are the elements landfill sites are required to block out. This can make decomposition a problem. Biodegradable trash bags are eco-friendly when they can be sent to an industrial composting facility.
Choose the Right Recycling Bag
Size, thickness and durability are some of the factors you need to consider when buying eco-friendly trash bags. Eco-friendly trash bags need to be a correct fit for a trash bin, and they come in a variety of sizes.
The compostable nature of the bags may mean that they are as strong and sturdy as traditional plastic bags, but manufacturers are working on this issue.
The following three examples of recycling trash bags all have elements to recommend them, such as an odor neutralizer, handles, or the fact that they are made from compostable materials.
Hefty Recycling Tall Kitchen Trash Bags
A Hefty package contains 60 blue recycling kitchen trash bags. A convenient drawstring keeps the waste securely contained in these 13-gallon bags. It also makes them easy to lift and transport. Each bag is 0.7 millimeters thick. One of the best things about these bags is that they have a patented, unscented odor neutralizer, which keeps recyclables in and bad smells out. The bags are transparent and so they are easy to identify on the curb or at the recycling center.
Hippo Sak Bags with Handles
This USDA certified bio-based product is made from sugar cane and not fossil fuel. These bags are a more sustainable choice than trash bags made from virgin or recycled plastic. The 45 tall kitchen bags are super strong with a reinforced bottom and handles. They are completely recyclable at any local facility and this reduces the need to make more plastic and use more fossil fuels. Reduce your carbon footprint with these bags that reduce CO2 emissions by 2.15 kilograms and the consumption of fossil fuel by two liters.
UNNI ASTM D6400 100% Compostable Trash Bags
Each roll consists of 100 small compostable bags that meet stringent standards for environmental friendliness. These bags were awarded US Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certification under the ASTM #6400 standard and European OK Compost Home certification.
Made from plant starches, the bags contain no polyethylene. The 2.6-gallon bags are non-toxic, durable and easy to use. It is best to avoid exposing these 0.71-millimeter thick bags to excessive heat. Store them in a cool, dry place and use them within a year of purchase. The bags can be composted in backyard, municipal or industrial facilities.
A Final Word
Reducing the amount of plastic we use is the most impactful choice we can make and this includes trying to minimize the number of trash bags we use. We can also choose to use recycled plastic trash bags so that less new plastic needs to be made. Using composting recycling bags also helps to keep plastic out of landfills. When we recycle properly, we throw away less trash, which in turn means that fewer plastic bags are required to contain it.