Does such a thing even exist? Personally, I just use a trashcan without a liner and just rinse it out when it gets funky rather than add more trash to the landfill, but this doesn’t work for everybody. There are those times where you really do need a garbage bag, and not all trash bags are created equal.
Jig-A-Loo recently sent me some samples of their EconoGreen Plastic trash bags. These are made of 100% recycled plastic, are recyclable and are also oxodegradable. All this and they cost the same as a regular old trash bag!
Oxodegradable means “to degrade over time when exposed to oxygen.” For example, EconoGreen Plastics bags and drop cloths contain a unique additive that helps break down the carbon-carbon bonds in the plastic, reducing the strength of the bag when it is exposed to oxygen over a period of time (2-4 years). As the bag continues to degrade into smaller pieces it becomes a nutrient for microbes that consume the fragments leaving behind water, CO2 and a biomass. This process doesn’t leave any harmful residue or toxins.
Unfortunately, they do not degrade in a landfill, but then again, nothing does (see my recent article on how long it takes to biodegrade). While they don’t degrade fast enough for a backyard compost pile, they will begin to breakdown in 2 years if they somehow escape into the environment, and ultimately isn’t that where it counts? While it isn’t the solution, it is a step on the way to eliminating harmful plastics in our environment. I can’t wait to give these a true ‘real world’ test by letting one bag sit out on my balcony.
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