Compostable BioBased Plastics


kids in landfill

As you probably already know, plastic bags take anywhere from 500-1000 years to break down in a landfill.  Let that sink in for a minute, 500-1000 years per bag. Whoa. If you think about all the bags used everyday it can be overwhelming and disheartening.  And that’s not to mention the bags that end up in our oceans and forests.  

Luckily, there are alternatives.  Namely, biobased plastics.

What are BioBased plastics?

Biobased plastics are manufactured from plant materials instead of being made from oil or natural gas.  Some biobased plastics are compostable.  (Yay!) 

What does compostable mean?


compost bin
Counter top compost pail:

Compostable products are materials that have been certified to break down completely into non-toxic components (water, carbon dioxide, and biomass) that will not harm the environment.  Given the right conditions, these products break down even more quickly, usually within 90 days, and they leave behind a nutrient-rich organic material called humus, which is beneficial and can be used to grow plants and enrich the soil.

If you are trying to help the environment there are few compostable swaps you can make.  One is to switch to compostable kitchen trash bags.  Compostable garbage bags are made of biobased plastics (usually corn).  They are a great alternative to traditional plastic garbage bags which can take up to 20 years to decompose and they do not leave any nutrients in the soil.

Compostable Trash bag
Compostable Trash Bag:

The holidays are coming up and you may be mailing out gifts.  Compostable mailers are an excellent alternative to poly mailers.  Poly mailers are made of polyethylene.  Polyethylene is the main component in plastic.  Even though the mailers are referred to as “poly mailers” they are essentially plastic mailers.  

Compostable mailers are made out of bioplastic, and can of course be composted.  They are just as durable as poly mailers and much more Eco-friendly.  

compostable mailer
Compostable mailer:

If you do purchase compostable bio based plastics please remember that these products are not typically able to be composted in your home compost pile unless specifically stated.

Cheers to composting!  

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