For consumers, it can be a relief to learn that plastic bags are biodegradable. But how can you be sure that biodegradable bags are truly environmentally friendly? Are they the same as biodegradable plastic bags? And when it comes to garbage bags, is there a better alternative?
Fortunately, there are rules for plastic-type claims, and the ACCC strictly adheres to them. There is also an independent certification system, so you can be sure your claims are credible.
The most environmentally friendly thing you can do is not to use trash bags. You can also use newspapers and avoid using paper bags. You can do this by separating compostable, recyclable, and general waste and composting and recycling where possible. This way we can reduce the amount of waste we produce. When using plastic containers for general waste, choose certified biodegradable bags or certified compostable bags over conventional plastic bags or bags labeled “degradable”.
Here are the differences between conventional, degradable, and biodegradable bags.
Conventional petrochemical disposable plastic bags
Should I choose this product? Whether it’s for the trash can or for shopping, you should avoid these plastic bags at all costs.
Clean Up estimates that Australians use approximately 5 billion single-use plastic bags each year. Although they consume a huge amount of non-renewable resources, including millions of barrels of oil, they only last an average of 12 minutes per use. Bags are not biodegradable. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Sea creatures, birds, and other animals swallow this plastic and many animals get caught in it.
Degradable or oxo-degradable bags
Should I choose this product? You should definitely avoid any product with this claim.
Biodegradable or oxo-biodegradable bags are not really biodegradable plastic.
Chemical additives have been added to these bags to make them degrade faster than regular plastic bags, but they do not disappear completely. Degradable bags and oxidatively degradable bags simply break down into smaller and smaller particles. We are led to believe that we are not harming the planet, but plastic exists in the form of tiny particles called microplastics, which have been shown to be extremely harmful to our ecosystems.
Biodegradable bag, compostable bag.
Should I choose this product? If you need a garbage bag, biodegradable or compostable bags are the best choice. However, be sure to choose a product with claims that are backed up by certification. Also, be aware of what happens to the bags if they end up in a landfill or in the environment. If you use collection bags for home composting, these bags should also be certified as compostable.
They are biodegradable or compostable if they can be broken down in the environment by organisms such as fungi and bacteria.
Our biodegradable and compostable bags are not. Made from petroleum but from plant materials such as corn starch and wheat. The bags do not contain polyethylene and are fully biodegradable within 10 to 45 days under the right conditions. They are ideal for home composting and food waste collection in worm farms. They retain waste, reduce odors, prevent mold and mildew and keep containers clean.
Right condition to decompose
It is important to follow the “right conditions” mentioned above, which are necessary for biodegradable and compostable bags to decompose. The temperature must reach 50°C and the bag must expose to UV light.
This does not happen in a garbage can or in the sea. If you use biodegradable or compostable bags for your household waste, remember that once all the waste has ended up in the landfill, the bag becomes like the waste it contains. In landfills, biodegradable and compostable bags break down much more slowly than home composting systems and without oxygen, releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that is much more dangerous than carbon dioxide.
Biodegradable bags do not degrade at all in the marine environment. They also look like jellyfish to turtles. So, if you simply dispose of them, they can have the same negative effects as conventional plastic bags.
When choosing a biodegradable or compostable bag, it is important to look at the certification. Currently, compostability certificates are the most reliable. As regulated and harmonized internationally.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using biodegradable products. They are also safe for the environment. However, we need to raise awareness about the use of plastics and educate people about their reuse, as judicious use of these products can be very helpful. For details, please visit, NovumPack!