Bin Bag Sustainability – How to choose planet friendly bin liners

Bin Bag Sustainability

Thinking carefully about recycling is a commendable step towards environmental responsibility and one we can all do to lower our carbon footprint. But now comes the tricky part—picking the right bin bag. Biodegradable, degradable, compostable, clear, black – when it comes to sustainability, what does it all mean? In this blog, we’ll look at the differences between plastic, degradable, and compostable options to navigate the green alternatives and find the most sustainable option for your waste management needs.

Watch Out for misleading terms:

In 2013, a New Zealand bin bag company was fined for misleading claims about how eco-friendly its plastic products were. Cases like this are a reminder that to embrace an eco-friendly approach, understanding the real definitions behind terms like biodegradable, degradable, and compostable is crucial. These are all terms we’ve heard before in everyday life, but what do they really mean? 

Regular Plastic Bin Liners:

Your everyday plastic bin bag is often attractive as a tough and cheap option. But here’s the catch—they’re made from non-renewable resources like petroleum, oil and natural gas, which isn’t great for the planet. Plus, they take forever, maybe even a thousand years, to disappear, making them a very unsustainable choice when you’re looking to lower your carbon footprint. 

Degradable Bags:

These bags claim to be sustainable as they break down eventually, but there’s no deadline for when that should happen. Technically, all plastics break down, but some get help from additives that turn them into tiny pieces. However, that might not be such a good thing, as these tiny bits can be a real pain for our environment, posing challenges for landfill containment and raising concerns about their impact on marine life.

Plant-Based Bags:

Plant-based bags are becoming popular if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option. These use sugarcane or corn instead of oil. But there are two types—some are like regular plastic, meant for recycling, while others really break down.

These can be classified into non-biodegradable and biodegradable categories.

a. Non-biodegradable plant-based plastics mimic conventional plastics, designed for recycling but not composting.

b. Biodegradable plant-based plastics undergo digestion by living organisms in the early stages of degradation, completing the natural cycle. 

Look for certifications like European Standard EN 13432 to make sure they’re fully biodegradable within specified timeframes.

Commercially Compostable Bags: These need special conditions at commercial compost sites; these liners may not be suitable for landfills.

Home Compostable Liners: The most environmentally-friendly option, suitable for backyard composting. However, even these may produce methane in landfills, posing environmental concerns.

Home Compostable Bags: The best choice for the planet, as they can break down in your backyard. Still, even these might produce some not-so-great stuff in landfills.

Choosing the Right Bin Liner: The ideal bin liner choice depends on your waste collection and disposal methods.

Discuss with Waste Collection Providers:  Have a chat with your waste collection providers to understand their bin liner policies.

Tailor Bin Liner Choices: Use black bags for regular rubbish, clear bags for recycling, and home-compostable bags for kitchen scraps.

Consider Plant-Based, Non-Biodegradable Options: While still plastic, these liners use renewable resources and have reduced toxicity in their production.

At BinIt, we are passionate about sustainability and developing bin bags to help people who want to make a difference. Our ultra heavy duty refuse sacks are made from 100% recycled tear resistant LDPE film and are sustainable with traceability. The waste materials are collected within the UK, sorted, processed and recycled. Our bags are then produced in Britain, minimising our carbon footprint and enabling full circle traceability. Made in Britain with Quality (ISO 9001) and Environmental Management (ISO 14001) accredited compliance systems,  we take the quality and sustainability of our bin bags seriously. Picking a good bin bag doesn’t need to be a headache. With some research and input from waste experts, you can make informed choices to help do your bit for a greener, happier planet.