Compostable Produce Bags: Everything You Need to Know
As the global climate crisis threatens the world we live in, many people are looking for ways to do their part to protect the environment. Big shifts are necessary if we hope to avoid disaster, but small changes can add up. There are many small steps that each of us can take in our daily lives, and every little thing helps. One simple adjustment involves the bags we use and their impact on the environment.
Everyone knows that plastic takes a long time to degrade and has serious negative impacts on our planet in various forms. Single-use plastic grocery and produce bags are an easy place to make a change. Many grocery stores are replacing standard plastic grocery bags and produce bags with biodegradable or compostable options.
Difference Between Compostable and Biodegradable
Compostable produce bags are made of PLA/PBAT/cornstarch and other materials. They break down at the same rate as other food waste and can be disposed of in a standard composter. They are a great alternative to plastic bags and are easy to change. You can start by using these bags for food waste and then expand over time. However, there are still better options, which we'll cover shortly.
Biodegradable bags are not as good as their name suggests. Technically, a compostable produce bag is a biodegradable bag. However, other bags that fall into this category are not as eco-friendly. Standard biodegradable bags are still made of plastic. The difference is that it contains extra material that breaks down much faster than other plastic bags.
These bags may not continue to take up space in landfills for as long as regular plastic bags, but that's really their only good quality. Producing biodegradable bags is still very harmful.
Not All Compostable Produce Bags Will Break down in Your Home Compost
Some bags are labeled compostable but will only decompose properly if exposed to high enough temperatures. Your home composting system may not be the answer. These bags may need to be processed in special facilities to ensure compost reaches the required level.
Some bags are specifically labeled "home compostable." These should meet the necessary requirements for composting at home. However, if your bag doesn't have that label, it's difficult to know whether the bag will break down in your home system as you intend.
Compostable Produce Bags Are Still Disposable
While compostable produce bags are a better option because they are made from plant material, they are still single-use bags. One of the biggest problems with our consumer-based economy is that we treat almost everything as disposable. There's always a new, better version of the product we buy coming out.
Most people rarely make purchases with the future in mind. It’s all about the latest technology and society forces people to have the latest version. Therefore, we use up and dispose of products quickly and package all these items in similar disposable containers. This perspective permeates every area of our modern lives.
When people go to the grocery store, they are used to putting their fruits and vegetables in the plastic bags provided by the store. They then put these plastic bags into other plastic bags when checking out. While many stores are replacing plastic bags with compostable ones, the bigger problem isn't really being solved.
Before plastic was commonly used, paper bags were all the rage in grocery stores. Before the advent of paper bags, goods were often moved in a variety of reusable bags. Paper bags were invented in the first half of the 19th century and quickly became popular because they were easy to produce and easy to use.
We have to overcome over 200 years of constraints before we can return to normal use of reusable shopping bags. While we all know it's the best thing to do, bad habits die hard. We must refocus on sustainability rather than convenience.
Making Compostable Produce Bags Requires Energy
While making compostable produce bags may use relatively less energy than producing many other bags, the cost is still there. During the production phase, making a reusable canvas tote bag has a greater environmental impact than making a compostable bag.
However, a single reusable canvas tote can replace hundreds or even thousands of compostable produce bags used by consumers. The energy required to make a canvas bag pales in comparison to the energy required to replace it with a compostable bag.
Even though compostable produce bags are derived from renewable plant materials, they still require more resources, in the long run, to create enough to replace a reusable canvas grocery bag.
The three Rs of conservation are "reduce," "reuse," and "recycle." While they all help the environment, recycling is the least efficient of the three. Reducing and reusing products should be a bigger focus, but the focus of compostable containers is on recycling. They are an important step in the right direction towards eliminating the use of plastic bags. However, they are far from an ideal solution.
Compostable Produce Bags Are a Great Place to Start
Compostable bags are a step in the right direction, and stores that switch out plastic bags for these more environmentally friendly alternatives should be commended. However, they are only small steps and, like many of the products we use today, will hopefully become obsolete soon.
Compostable produce bags are a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Our real focus needs to be on eliminating single-use bags entirely. Reusable bags and baskets have been the standard for centuries, disposable options didn't exist. While innovation often leads to progress, humans do make mistakes in some situations.
Compostable produce bags are a great starting point for sustainable living. These eco-friendly bags are designed to replace traditional plastic bags, providing a biodegradable alternative that reduces plastic waste in the environment. They are made from materials such as cornstarch or PLA, which naturally break down into non-toxic components when properly disposed of in a compost environment, leaving no harmful residue behind. By choosing compostable produce bags, individuals can contribute to reducing the harmful effects of plastic pollution, promote responsible consumption, and take a simple but effective step toward a greener lifestyle.
Torise Biomaterials compostable produce bags are popular at farmers' markets, co-ops, and natural food grocers. These produce bags are made from compostable bioplastic. This eco-friendly material allows the produce inside to breathe, extending storage life and keeping fruits and vegetables fresher longer. Get the best produce bags for your needs, available in a variety of sizes. If you would like to purchase compostable bags, please contact us.
Torise Biomaterials is a custom compostable and biodegradable products manufacturer. Since August 2010, we have been developing a full range of sustainable alternatives to conventional plastics. Our Torise products are made from natural resins derived from plant starches, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers that are easily consumed by microorganisms in the soil.
All our products have international authoritative certifications such as EN13432 (Din Certco), OK Compost, OK Compost HOME (TUV Austria), ASTM D6400 (BPI), AS4736 and AS5810 (ABA).
Biodegradable | Non-toxic | PBAT PLA | Multi-Use | Produce Bags
Biodegradable | Non-toxic | PBAT PLA | Multi-Use | Shopping Bags