In recent years, there has been a massive push to stop the use of single-use plastics, and several countries have banned commercial shops and grocery stores from handing out thin-film plastics bags.
However, the use of plastic trash bags is often completely overlooked in our household and commercial waste management. This can be because of the seemingly irreplaceable qualities that plastic garbage bags possess. They tend to be leakproof, sturdy, and lightweight, making them perfect for handling large amounts of garbage. However, their negative impact on the environment is hard to ignore. Single-use plastic trash bags can take hundreds of years to break down. Moreover, they often break down into microplastics and pollute our waterways, and enter the food chain.
Over the years, there have emerged some great alternatives to these. Alternative garbage bags made out of biodegradable material are becoming both affordable, as well as widely available.
It is, however, important to understand the distinction between biodegradable garbage bags and compostable garbage bags. Almost all types of materials (including plastic) are completely biodegradable but can take thousands of years to do so. On the other hand, compostable garbage bags have a much shorter degradation time.
Different countries have different standards and certifications that they assign to biodegradable garbage bags depending on their legitimacy. For example, products that are certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute can be a good place to start.
To reduce your carbon footprint, you don't necessarily have to go for plant-based compostable or biodegradable garbage bags. Some alternative ways to reduce your plastic-waste generation can be,
- By Separating food from plastic, metal, paper, or glass, you can make sure that the right type of waste ends up in either the compost bin or gets recycled. This way, you can also reduce the amount of garbage that ends in a landfill.
- Eliminating the use of trash bags in their entirety. Having a reusable container that you can then throw waste out of is ultimately the best alternative to single-use plastic trash bags. No use is definitely better than reuse or reduce!
- Use strong and leak-proof paper bags to throw out your waste and be rest assured that they will biodegrade over time.
Regardless, if you are in a situation where you have to use trash bags to dispose of your waste, here are some great biodegradable garbage bags to try.
Biodegradable Garbage Bags & Where To Find Them
Most suppliers and brands sell on Amazon, so that is the easiest way to source biodegradable waste bags for your use case. They come in all sizes, so take your pick according to what suits your needs.
Biodegradable Garbage Bags for Household Waste
1. UNNI Compostable Trash Bags - (Our #1 Choice!)
Price: Starting at $0.1 per bag
UNNI's compostable bags are affordable and are certified compostable in both the United States and Europe by the BPI. They are fully compatible with both industrial and home-based composting facilities. They have an extremely high bio content and contain absolutely no polyethylene.
These non-toxic bags are great for the environment but are also strong enough to prevent leakages.Buy on Amazon
2. ECOSAFE® Zero Waste Bags by Green Paper Products
Price: Starting at $0.14 per bag
Green Paper Products manufactures compostable trash bags that are made from corn. They are a much better alternative to petroleum-based traditional trash bags and have been certified compostable by the BPI. They take 90 days to completely break down and become a part of the soil.
The compostable bags come in several different dimensions and volumes for all kinds of uses, ranging from 2.5 gallons up to 90 gallons.Buy on Green Paper Products
3. BioBag Compostable Bags for Food Scraps
Price: Starting at $0.14 per bag
BioBag's compostable bags are made for household food waste and have also been fully certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute. They can be put into any backyard compost system.
BioBag's are made from a combination of organic raw materials such as plants and vegetable oils, and fully compostable polymers.Buy on Amazon
4. Green Earth Compostable Food Waste Bag
Price: Starting at $0.12 per bag
Green Earth's food waste bags are guaranteed compostable, and fully break down into carbon dioxide, water, and humus after disintegrating. They have also been certified by both EU and US-based agencies. They are certified under the BPI’s strict ASTM D6400 specification in the USA and are also certified OK Compost Home, a European standard for 100% compostability in both industrial and home composting facilities.Buy on Amazon
5. Hippo Sak Compostable Small Food Scrap Bags
Price: Starting at $0.15 per bag
Hippo Sak bags are made in the US and are smaller in size than the others we have mentioned in this list, making them perfect for home use. They are also both BPI and OK Compost certified. This means that they can be used in both commercial and private settings.
These bags break down within 60 days and can hold up to 3 gallons of waste.Buy on Amazon
The Best Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags
1. Planet Poop Unscented Compostable Dog Poo Bags
Price: Starting at $0.15 per bag
Planet Poop's dog waste bags are both sturdy and compostable. They are completely plant-based and non-GMO and decompose within 90 days leaving behind water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. They are 100% compostable which means that they do not disintegrate into any harmful chemicals or micro-plastics.
They are also giving back to the community by having partnered with Mission Pawsible in Bali, Indonesia.Buy on Amazon
2. UNNI Compostable Dog Poop Bags
Price: Starting at $0.06 per bag
UNNI's biodegradable dog poop bags are certified OK Compost, which is a European Standard that guarantees 100% biodegradability in home composting facilities. It is made from plant starches and contains no toxic chemicals or polyethylene, making it great for the environment and our dogs!Buy on Amazon
3. The Green Poop Bag
Price: Starting at £0.08 per bag
UK-based The Green Poop Bag is every eco-conscious dog lover's dream. The Green Poop Bag company was born after Denise, the founder, realized that by wrapping her own pet's poop in a plastic bag she was converting an otherwise natural material into something that would take centuries to biodegrade!
To combat this problem, they developed the concept of the Green Poop Bag, a hundred percent biodegradable and home-compostable poop bag for your pets made out of a sugar and cornstarch blend.Buy on The Green Poop Bag
With these options, you will have a lot of choices to find the perfect biodegradable garbage bag for you. No matter what you choose to buy, make sure to keep an eye out for either an OK Compost or BPI certification rating to ensure legitimacy!