Six Greener Alternatives to Plastic Trash Bags

Six Greener Alternatives to Plastic Trash Bags

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Are you in your method to a zero waste household? If you haul your trash to the curb each week in a plastic trash bag, determining a extra sustainable different to that plastic bag could be difficult. We’ve rounded up a couple of greener trash bag alternate options to your consideration that will help you cut back your single-use plastic trash bag consumption.

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Reusable Bags

There aren’t quite a lot of reusable trash bag alternate options in the marketplace, however reusable pail liners have gotten extra widespread. Marley’s Monsters in Eugene, Oregon makes washable pail liners in two sizes. The smaller one suits pails as much as 6 gallons and the bigger one suits most kitchen pails as much as 18 gallons. Made of polyurethane laminate cloth (PUL), they’re waterproof, machine-washable, and reusable.

Various reusable diaper pail liners are in the marketplace, together with Planet Wise, Teamoy, Alvababy, and more, ranging in capability from 5 gallons to 13.5 gallons. These washable pail liners work simply as properly for family garbage and could be reused dozens of occasions. Reuse is at all times higher than single-use merchandise and eliminating plastic waste destined to be trash is a giant win.

Plant-based Bags

Reusable luggage gained’t work for normal curbside trash assortment. However, you’ll be able to reduce your Earth-impact by making use of plant-based trash luggage, even when they’re single-use. Using plant supplies as an alternative of plastic is an efficient alternative as there’s a smaller environmental influence in rising crops versus mining for oil. Plants are a renewable useful resource whereas fossil fuels, which are used to make conventional plastic, are nonrenewable.

There are many choices in the marketplace together with luggage product of sugar cane, surplus crops, corn starch, GMO-free plants, and lots extra. Many of those plant-based luggage declare to be compostable, which brings us to our subsequent greener trash bag different.

Compostable Bags

Compostable luggage break down into natural materials over time, usually lower than a 12 months. For your landfill trash, compostable luggage are additionally useful since they cut back the leftover microplastic air pollution in a landfill. This is good in case you are hauling yard waste to a composting facility or shifting meals waste destined to be composted. There are many compostable luggage in the marketplace and most comprise plant-based content material. Check out well-reviewed UNNI ASTM, ProGreen, and HoldOn compostable luggage.

It’s vital to know that “compostable” doesn’t at all times imply you’ll be able to drop the bag in your house compost pile. Most merchandise that carry the “compostable” label require industrial composting (additionally referred to as commercial composting), during which the pile reaches a better temperature than at residence. Commercial composting breaks down materials quicker and extra fully. Take the time to test whether or not you’ll be able to place the bag in your house pile or if it should be despatched to a business composting facility.

U.S. consumers ought to search for the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) label. The BPI web site offers a searchable checklist of compostable merchandise, however consider it confirms solely {that a} product could be industrially composted. The European TUV Home Compostable Certified label, if obtainable, identifies merchandise that you may confidently compost at residence. You can search (although it’s designed for enterprise and never straightforward for consumers to make use of) for residence compostable merchandise on the TUV website.

Recycled Content Bags

Another greener possibility for single-use waste luggage is utilizing a bag with recycled content material. It’s widespread eco-knowledge that using any type of waste and making it into a brand new product is healthier than utilizing virgin oil to make a single-use plastic merchandise.

There are many recycled content material luggage to select from. We suggest searching for certifications to distinguish manufacturers. For instance Evolution Trash Bags are licensed by the UL ECOLOGO Program. Also, think about well-reviewed manufacturers reminiscent of Neat or manufacturers which have been doing this eco-product factor for some time reminiscent of Seventh Generation.

DIY Your Trash Bags

Perhaps the greenest different to a regular plastic trash bag is to make your individual trash bag. Find some folding instructions for a lot of sizes of luggage on the Make Your Own Zone. These instructions instruct crafters to utilize newspapers however you may also make luggage out of mailer adverts (just like a newspaper) or leftover craft paper. Of course, paper luggage can solely be used for dry waste so this selection is greatest for an workplace or toilet waste bin. Reusing what you have already got available and have already used is likely one of the greenest choices for waste luggage.

Maybe Skip that Liner

What are the bagging guidelines to your waste hauler? Perhaps you’ll be able to skip the trash can liner altogether; vans that dump the waste instantly into their compactor could assist you to nix the bag. We suggest you inquire about this different earlier than placing it in place. On the opposite hand, most recycling applications require supplies to be unbagged; nonetheless, it’s not the identical in each group. If you do must bag your waste, think about solely lining one giant trash bin in your house and dumping all bins into that one bag. You can reduce down on bag utilization significantly should you solely use one.

Even if your house is zero waste, you do nonetheless want to gather compost and recycling. Choosing a greener possibility to your waste assortment bag is one method to make your life gentler on the Earth.

Originally printed on February 3, 2021, this text was up to date on February 12, 2023, by the Earth911 editorial workforce.

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