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Why Choose Compostable Bags?

Why Choose Compostable Bags?

Aug 7,2023
Compostable Bags
We might use plastic bags to go grocery shopping, hold trash, or clean up pets. But those who care about our planet should know that compostable shopping bags, garbage bags, and dog poop bags are a more environmentally friendly, ethical, and sustainable option.

So let's explore why we should make the switch and choose compostable bags over non-compostable options:

The Problem with Non-compostable Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are a major problem. On this planet, we use a staggering 5 trillion plastic bags every year. That equates to 700 episodes per year for every person on the planet or 160,000 episodes per second!

Of course, all of these bags are usually made of polyethylene, which requires fossil fuels to manufacture. They are derived from petroleum and these limited and polluting materials are needed to make them. The energy used in the manufacturing process also typically involves burning more fossil fuels. With about 14 plastic bags, you'll be using the equivalent amount of fuel needed to drive a mile.

However, most of these bags are thrown away. Every ton of plastic bags recycled saves the energy equivalent of 11 barrels of oil. But less than 1% is actually recycled.

Discarded plastic bags often end up in landfills, or are blown by the wind into the surrounding environment. They join all the other plastic we throw away every year. Ultimately, about 10% of plastic waste ends up in the ocean.

Plastic bags, along with food containers and packaging, account for approximately 31.7% of the municipal solid waste stream. They are also the largest component of floating marine debris (except for items smaller than 5 mm, such as pre-manufactured plastic pellets, debris, and polystyrene fragments).

It's important to remember that each plastic bag takes 1,000 years to decompose - that's a long time.

Although plastic bags don't biodegrade, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces. In the ocean, sunlight breaks this plastic down into smaller and smaller pieces, a process called photodegradation. Over time, they break down into tiny microplastic particles, which is an even more dangerous problem.

The negative effects of plastic bags and other ocean plastic pollution are well documented. Plastic bags, both in bulk and when they degrade into microplastics, pose a significant and persistent threat to marine ecosystems and marine wildlife, as well as human health.

- Wild animals become entangled in larger pieces of plastic and may be injured or killed.

- Various marine organisms - from birds, fish, turtles, whales, and more - ingest plastic - mistaking plastic debris for prey. They often suffer internal injuries and often die of starvation as plastic builds up in their digestive systems.

- Ingesting plastic can also cause infection and mobility problems in a range of marine organisms.

- Floating plastics are also associated with the spread of invasive marine species, pathogens, and bacteria, thereby damaging marine ecosystems.

- Several chemicals used in the production of plastic materials are known to be carcinogenic and to interfere with the human endocrine system, causing developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune disorders in wildlife and humans. However, microplastics are present in the food chain.

- Plastic surfaces in the ocean also accumulate more toxic pollutants. They enter the food web and also pose a risk to wildlife and (when they eat seafood) humans. We are all familiar with the ugly scenes of plastic washing up on beaches, destroying local attractions, and affecting local tourism. But it's important to understand that the negative effects of plastic go much deeper. Microplastics now permeate every ecosystem on the planet - they're even found in the human body - and end up on our plates through what we eat.

How Are Compostable Bags Better?

First, in order to understand why compostable bags are better, we need to understand what they are. What are compostable bags made of? What makes them better than other options?

Unlike most synthetic plastic bags, biodegradable bags break down over time -- they don't remain in the environment for hundreds of years. Compostable bags go a step further. They break down into only natural and inert components in their natural soil environment (or in your home composting system). Essentially, they become organic fertilizers -- which can help your garden thrive. Nothing nasty or harmful is left behind.

Compostable bags are made from natural plant materials, unlike plastics such as polyethylene, which are made from fossil fuels. Biodegradable bags may break down but may leave an inorganic residue. So it's best to look for options made entirely from materials like cornstarch that are truly 100% compostable in a home composting environment.

Our compostable bags are made from plant-based biomaterials and are polyethylene free. After 180 days of composting in the soil, they break down into all-natural organic compounds - water and carbon dioxide.

We should all use as little plastic as possible. We should reject, reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle to reduce waste and keep our planet healthy and clean. But where we do need to use plastic bags, we should make sure to always choose a compostable option.

The above introduces the benefits of compostable bags, if you want to buy compostable bags, please contact us.

TORIS is a professional custom compostable and biodegradable bag manufacturer. Since August 2010, we have been developing a full range of sustainable alternatives to traditional plastics. Our Torise products are made from natural resins derived from plant starches, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers that are easily consumed by microbes in the soil.

From our raw materials, to inks, to finished products, you can be confident that anything we make will break down in the process and won't harm the environment!
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