We sometimes have to buy merchandise that we probably would rather not, due to the price or its environmental hazard factor.
One item that usually fails in both categories is trash bags. This is one example of something most would rather not spend money on.
In addition to negative environmental effects, they are normally expensive for an object that is just going to be thrown out. Some varieties also may be thin and inferior, so they have to be doubled up on which adds to the waste.
Even though the evils of the made from plastic bag have been preached for some time, they still seem to accumulate. Some have considered bans on plastic bags due to their high pollution rate, danger to sea life and numerous other concerns. However, over 500 billion of them are still made around the globe each year.
Plastics used to make shopping and garbage bags are generally a cheap option for companies to use since they do not cost a lot for them to make. Other establishments are offering more eco-friendly options including biodegradable and compostable types. There is a difference between the two.
A bag that is only biodegradable, but not compostable, will last longer in the trash can but actually can take up to a 3 year process to biodegrade. Compostable trash bags break down rapidly under the right conditions, for instance when they come into contact with moisture.
Traditional plastic bags are surrounded by uncertainty about how long they take to break down, or if they ever fully do. Some garbage bags, though they may claim to be fully biodegradable in fact contain particles, some toxic, that do not break down and leave minute fragments behind.
Bags that are produced from corn based materials may seem like a preferable alternative to traditional plastics, but just because they are fully compostable does not mean they are the best source for this type of use. Using up portions of the food supply that corn crops offer just so we can have better bags to throw out our stuff does not seem like the smartest option.
There are different ways to make plastics from other food sources like potatoes. Currently there are fully compostable trash bags on the market that are made from a potato with high starch content that is not used for food. Compared to other crops, like corn, it does not use as much water or energy to produce.
A lot of items that end up in the garbage don’t need to be there in the first place. Composting, which can be done year round and cutting back on waste around the home in general helps trash bags last longer.
The things we use everyday are a good place to start when looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious.
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