Eco Friendly Biodegradable Garbage bags

garbage-bags
“On average, plastic bags are used for 25 minutes” by dullhunk is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

With the rising awareness among consumers about how harmful a traditional garbage bag is, comes the switch towards more eco-friendly trash bags. Many issues disruptive to the environment are occurring in the world leading to a lot of unwanted results.

One of the issues the environment is encountering is overflowing landfills. This is why we need to find ways to cut down the environmental footprint.

The first step towards being sustainable is to switch from plastic garbage bags to eco-friendly garbage bags. These include using biodegradable and compostable trash bags. It may not be the perfect solution but it definitely is the second best option we have. Plus, it plays an important role in protecting the environment.

Using biodegradable and compostable garbage bags is a green choice that we should opt for. We can play our part in the widely shared goal of minimizing the negative impact of plastic.

What are Compostable and Biodegradable garbage bags?

Compostable garbage bags

These garbage bags are made of natural plant starch and do not produce any toxic waste. They tend to break down faster through a composting system and end up in the formation of compost.

The best part about a compostable trash bag is that it does not end up in a landfill. Hence, the landfills do not overflow. If disposed of properly, it ends up giving nutrients to the soil through composting.

Even if the compostable garbage bags land in a landfill, they need oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and moisture to break down fully. An open landfill mostly has oxygen so the bacteria and microorganisms will decompose the garbage bags easily.

But if the landfill does not have enough oxygen then these garbage bags will not decompose and stay there for a long period.

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Biodegradable garbage bags

A biodegradable trash bag can become decomposed by bacteria and other living organisms.

Some bags may be made up of Bioplastic and that is not as good as one might think. It is a plant-based material but when it biodegrades, it releases a lot of methane in the air which is not good for the environment.

This is why if one wishes to dispose of these garbage bags, they have to ensure that that particular landfill has a system of handling the methane gas

What is wrong with Non-Biodegradable garbage bags?

According to an estimate, almost 500 billion plastic bags are used and disposed of every year. Because of them being non-recyclable, these bags land in rivers, seas, and landfills as plastic waste. Many countries around the world have passed laws to ban the use of plastic trash bags but still, many are yet to do so.

The fact is that a non-biodegradable plastic bag takes 1000 years to totally break down when in a landfill. And even after breaking down completely, they leave the environment with harmful toxins and microplastics.

Non-biodegradable garbage bags emit a large amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The release of toxic gases leads to a tremendous amount of carbon footprint in the environment. Especially burning plastic bags releases a toxic substance into the air causing air pollution.

Moreover, the waste from plastic bags is a serious threat to human and animal health. When the plastic bags are not disposed of properly, they might even lead to storm water drain blockage.

Apart from that, many animals tend to eat plastic bags when they are hungry which ends up in a disturbed digestive process. Animals are also known to get tangled and choke themselves to death because of plastic bags.

Furthermore, plastic bags are well known for the harm they bring to marine life. The amount of containment it causes is a global pollution epidemic. A huge number of sea animals die daily and the ones who are alive, get contaminated.

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It is understandable that abandoning plastic completely is not possible for us. But, when there is convenience and we can easily use an alternative then why not? We should definitely choose compostable and biodegradable garbage bags and take a step toward green earth.

What makes a Garbage bag Eco Friendly?

1. Material

The eco-friendly nature of garbage bags depends on the materials used to make them. The bags made from plant-based materials or recycled plastic have an environmentally friendly nature. And thus, contribute to sustainable waste management practices.

Biodegradable material releases fewer greenhouse gases and toxic substances. It causes less harm to the soil if decomposed properly in the soil.

Recycled plastic bags break down the same as virgin plastic bags. But, what sets them apart is that they need fewer virgin resources and encourage a strong market for plastic recycling. This in the end leads to a reduction in the overall waste.

2. Energy Usage

As mentioned above that with the rising awareness, people are trying to become eco-friendly and sustainable. For this purpose, businesses are also trying to be more environmentally friendly and trying to cut waste.

Companies nowadays are working towards the reduction of energy usage at their operating places. Organizations have begun to invest in energy conservation. Also, there is constant planning of reusing all the materials that have the potential to save them from going to waste.

The important point is that positive change happens when large manufacturing companies take these types of steps. It is much more impactful than any of us unplugging unused appliances in our homes. Any progress taking place on the long road of green living is worthy of appreciation.

3. Life Span

Eco-friendly garbage bags have a shorter life span than traditional plastic bags. The ones made up of recycled plastic do play their part in the reduction of waste but they end up being dumped in a landfill.

Manufacturers make biodegradable garbage bags from plant-based materials. allowing them to decompose over time. In contrast, compostable garbage bags break down into compost without leaving behind any toxic residue. So people regard compostable bags as the best option.

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Furthermore, any garbage bag needs oxygen to decompose in a landfill. Even basic waste does not decompose completely in a landfill because there is not enough oxygen available for it.

Without the presence of proper oxygen, these bags release a good amount of methane into the air as they break down. Which in the end is extremely harmful to the environment as methane is 30 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide.

If the plant-based garbage bags are causing a greater problem then it surely is defeating the purpose of using these bags.

Compostable v/s Biodegradable garbage bags

If we were to compare both of these, the winner has to be a compostable bag. This is because of the fact that it is made of organic material which turns into good quality compost and works great as a fertilizer.

Whereas biodegradable garbage bags break down through microorganisms and may take a long time to break down completely. They do not turn into compost, hence, they are of no benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do compostable garbage bags take to decompose?

When the compostable garbage bags are kept under certain conditions, they have a chance of decomposing within 10-45 days.

2. How do you dispose of biodegradable trash bags?

You have to throw the bags in the residual waste bin from which they will be taken to a landfill. Biodegradable plastic needs some particular conditions to break down properly.

3. Are ziplock bags biodegradable?

These bags are very commonly used in every household throughout the American continent and elsewhere. Unfortunately, they are not good for the environment. This is because they are made out of plastic which is non-biodegradable. A biodegradable bag takes thousands of years to fully decompose when thrown away.

4. Are biodegradable garbage bags recyclable?

Biodegradable bags are mainly plastic and contain non-plastic materials. They are capable of becoming contaminants when they go through the recycling steam. Which is why the biodegradable bags are not recyclable. You have to put them in the trash instead.

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