Compostable vs Recycled Content Single-Use Products
When it comes to reducing single-use plastic in your life, a great first step is to look at the bags in your life. We’re talking plastic shopping bags, grocery bags, trash bags, sandwich bags, doggie bags… you name it. By opting for either compostable alternatives or options made from recycled plastic (or reusable where applicable!), you can reduce waste, utilize less nonrenewable resources, and overall do better for our planet. Some of our favorite options come from BioBag – and their sister company, GreenPolly! Join us below as we dive into our favorite products, and how to make the sustainable switch.
The writing’s on the wall – composting, and compostable products, is the future! This is especially true as we struggle to keep up with the amount of waste in our landfills globally. Large retailers (like Whole Foods!) and local entrepreneurs alike are beginning to focus on composting initiatives due to the lack of overall governmental support for composting programs. However, several states have passed laws restricting the amount of food waste going to landfills, paving the way for more composting facilities – as of right now, less than 5% of American households have access to curbside organics/food scrap compost collection, leaving much room for improvement!
Whether you do have access to curbside commercial composting, take your compostables to a commercial drop-off location, or have no commercial compost access, certified compostable products are still a wonderful swap you can make from virgin single-use plastic for a variety of reasons – first and foremost, the raw materials! Traditional virgin (new!) plastic is made from nonrenewable fossil fuels like petroleum, and requires a lot of energy and resources to be created. These processes often release greenhouse gases, one of the major contributors to human-caused global warming and climate change. BioBag makes their compostable bioplastic from Mater-Bi, made from plants like corn starch, and biodegradable and compostable polymers from renewable raw materials. They source plant-based resin from Italy from GMO-free crops. BioBag then moves this resin to California, and transforms it into the compostable film that makes up the bags we love.
Now let’s dive into some of our favorite compostable BioBag products, and how you can use them in your life!
Our go-to for packed lunches, meal prep, kid’s snacks, traveling, and everything in between is BioBag compostable and resealable food bags. They come in several sizes: Food Storage, Sandwich, Snack, and Gallon. Similar to single-use Ziploc bags, they are resealable, single-use, and help keep food fresh – but are also plastic free and BPA free.
When it comes to trash bags and compost bin bags, they have great options there as well! Their classic 13 Gallon Kitchen Bags are a great replacement for kitchen scraps, or you can opt for the larger 33 Gallon size (great for businesses that compost paper towels!) If you do have access to curbside composting, be sure to grab some of their 3 Gallon Compost Bin Bags. These make it easy to take your compost from the house to the larger compost bin. They even have compostable doggie bags to replace single-use plastic bags! But be sure to do your research around pet waste composting in your area – many cities don’t offer pet waste composting, but even so, using a bioplastic bag as opposed to a plastic bag is still a better option.
Want some more info on composting as a whole? Learn the difference between Compostable & Biodegradable here, and how to make a Backyard Compost here.
Recycled Plastic Bags
If you don’t have access to curbside industrial composting facilities, there’s still a sustainable alternative that is better for our environment than single-use virgin plastic! Inspired by the idea that everyone deserves an eco-option, BioBag founded GreenPolly. When composting infrastructure isn’t available, or you’re disposing of non-compostable items, their products are our go-to. GreenPolly makes their products from a unique blend of 80-90% post-consumer recycled plastic and 10-20% bioplastic from sugarcane – working to keep recyclable plastics out of our landfills, and reducing reliance on virgin plastic from nonrenewable resources.
Did you know that the USA creates 34 million tons of plastic each year… and only 10% of that is recycled? Plus, conventional trash and recycling bags are normally made from newly produced polyethylene (PE) – the most common type of plastic, with 90 million tons produced globally each year. And polyethylene often will never be recycled after use. By choosing GreenPolly, made from recycled plastic and bioplastic, you can reduce the amount of new PE utilized for common single-use products like recycling bags and trash bags.
GreenPolly Recycling Bags are clear, making them compatible with municipal clear bag recycling programs where applicable – and are durable, with the secure drawstring closure you expect from traditional bags. The Trash Bags also have a classic trash bag design, and work with all 13 gallon kitchen bins – but come in a semi-transparent blue color!
Whether you prefer to opt for industrially compostable bags from BioBag, or recycled content bags from GreenPolly, both are wonderful options – and have tons of benefits over virgin plastic alternatives. And things are changing! Just because your city may not provide composting today, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Find what works for you, and your lifestyle, and make the switch!