Do you know the answer to the question: How long for a plastic bag to decompose? Maybe you will be surprised by the answer, but it takes between 20 and 1000 years! The plastic bag decomposition process is very slow.
While plastic decomposes it releases toxic ingredients which are serial killers in the environment. Luckily there are great alternatives to the plastic bags – the compostable trash bags.
However, there are still many questions about these alternatives and we are here to answer them. Here is what you need to know about the compostable trash bags.
What are compostable bags made of?
Unlike plastic bags and even some biodegradable plastic bags, compostable trash bags are made of vegetable, green matter such as potato or corn starch and polylactic acid blends. When exposed to moisture the bags decompose. The modern compostable bags are strong and reliable just as the plastic bags. Many of them are paper or organic.
Are paper bags compostable?
Yes, paper bags make good composting material. Don’t forget to shred the paper into small pieces before mixing it into the compost pile. Some types of paper bags are recyclable too.
What does compostable mean?
Something is compostable or biodegradable if bacteria, fungi or other living microorganisms can break it down. They turn the compostable materials into humus-rich soil which is very beneficial for plants and trees. Unfortunately, plastic bags cannot, that’s why they are not biodegradable or compostable.
With so many different labels, no wonder that it gets confusing. Let’s look at what can be classified as degradable, biodegradable and compostable.
Biodegradable – it biodegrades but not as fast as compostable materials. When a product is 100% biodegradable the label indicates the disposal method. This means it is designed with pollution and waste in mind.
Compostable – it will biodegrade in a commercial compost facility.
Home compostable – If you already have a home compost, these products are the best choice. After you finish using them you can compost them at home.
Watch out for:
Bio/plant-based – this label means the product is made from plant materials and not fossil fuels, however, this doesn’t mean it’s compostable or biodegradable.
Bioplastic – this is a very confusing term with two meanings – it can mean the product is compostable or just plant-based, which is not the same.
Degradable – this label means the item or product is neither biodegradable nor compostable.
We hope we have given answers to the most frequently asked questions about the compostable trash bags – their origin and the best disposal methods. If we want to keep our environment clean the best thing to do is read the labels carefully and make more conscious purchasing decisions!