Taking care of our planet should be at the forefront of our consciousness. Whether we like it or not, the fact that we are living on Mother Earth is slowly killing it. While we aren’t going to stop existing, we all have a responsibility towards ourselves and our peers to fight climate change and pollution as much as we can.
One of the ways in which we are helping damage the environment is by using less plastic bags. They are costly to produce, and their creation emits a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which clogs up our planet’s “breathing space.” If you own a pet and make use of waste bags, then you’re hurting the cause just as much as you’re helping it.
Thankfully, you have a viable alternative at your disposal: biodegradable trash bags. We’ve dedicated this article to explaining their use so that we can make a difference together, one step at a time.
After all, there’s more ways of gifting our pets than snacks...
What’s the Deal With Biodegradation?
Biodegradation is the quality that refers to an item or object’s ability to decompose. For example, take your typical shopping bag into consideration, which is made from highly processed plastic that does not decay. If you throw a plastic bag in the woods, then it’s going to last in there for about a thousand years, believe it or not.
To make matters worse, when plastic bags do degrade, they don’t do so in a pleasant manner. Since they’re made by a lot of various chemicals, decomposing plastic bags disappear in a toxic slush that feeds into the ground and helps further the tragic demise of our planet.
The deal with biodegradation, then, is respect towards our communal home. That is the main reason why bio-friendly alternatives to containers have become all the rage as of late, and we estimate the trend is only going to keep rising.
While not many people would think of it, even plastic can be biodegradable. The difference between mainstream plastic and degradable plastic, however, is huge, and mainly lies in the production process. Unsurprisingly, degradable plastic bags are also more expensive.
Going the extra mile to make a difference for the environment, however, makes you nothing short of a hero.
8 Reasons to Use Biodegradable Waste Bags
Making the switch to biodegradable bags can be confusing. Although they’re not complicated, the sheer variety you have at your disposal can make picking your favored brand a difficult choice.
Furthermore, there are a lot of misconceptions about biodegradable bags. A common one, for example, is that they decay as expected. Believe it or not, that’s not what happens with most “bio-friendly” waste bags.
Have we sparked your curiosity? Read on to find out more!
Easy to Recycle
Biodegradable plastics are easy to recycle. Despite common belief, however, there are a lot of brands that advertise their products as being biodegradable when that’s not exactly the case. These “biodegradable” bags are simply far more prone to breaking down when recycled, even though they still have to be recycled or thrown into a landfill.
Nevertheless, using biodegradable bags, whether made to break down when exposed to sunlight, the wind, water, or enzymes present in recycling compounds, still helps make a difference for the environment.
Although biodegradable plastics don’t break down quickly by anyone’s expectation, their rate of decay is significantly faster than traditional plastics. For example, while a single-use plastic bag can survive for as long as a thousand years, a biodegradable bag breaks down after a couple of months.
Furthermore, the leftover material can be used in the making of compost, which is a way of giving back to the environment.
Less Energy Usage
According to some sources, producing a biodegradable bag takes less energy than a single-use bag - about 60% less. In the end, this means less use of fossil fuels, which is one of the primary contributors to our current climate crisis.
We haven’t developed the technology to use energy more efficiently than through fossil fuels, which is why it’s still a necessary evil. Many countries are trying to switch to renewable energies by 2050, and adopting biodegradable bags as a standard is a good starting point.
Avoiding Petroleum Usage
Petroleum is a non-renewable resource that lies at the heart of our global energy production. While petroleum is highly effective and apparently abundant, the truth is that our stock of petroleum will run out within the next dozen years.
Plastic uses a lot of petroleum during production, which is highly problematic. Through the heating of oil molecules, we are able to produce polymers, which is what enables us to create plastics.
Unfortunately, many vital industries can only function through the use of petroleum, which is why saving the resource as much as possible is an important way we can ensure a good future for our environment. Our stock of petroleum is going to disappear a lot sooner than we expect, and we’re going to be in big trouble at that point.
Let’s drag out the inevitable as much as we can.
Globally Removing Plastics
As of right now, plastics are an absolute necessity for the continuation of our lifestyles. Simply put, we cannot imagine a world in which we do not use plastics. Finding an alternative, however, is very important, which is why countries from around the world have slowly started making a change.
Several US states, such as New York or California, for example, have banned single-use plastic bags. Since they cannot easily decompose, plastics often pollute the environment for dozens of years before being removed or recycled.
A dreadful estimation that scientists have made is that plastics will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. Unfortunately, that tragedy is only going to speed up the longer we keep using plastics. On the other hand, a biodegradable plastic bag would simply disintegrate after contact with water, even feeding the oceans with natural minerals.
Less Landfill Space
“Where does plastic go?” is a very common question. Plastics that you throw away generally meet two ends: they are either combusted in order to produce energy, which is horrible because they release unspeakable amounts of toxic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, or thrown into a landfill to decompose.
Landfills take up a lot of space, however. As we know, space, like so many other things we have gotten used to and learned to take for granted, is becoming more and more of a valuable commodity. Since plastics take a long time to decompose, removing the need to store them will help us in the long run.
Why Isn’t Plastic Recycled as Advertised?
Little of the plastics you throw away for recycling are actually recycled. The reason for this is that not all plastics are made using the same materials, which means they can’t be put into the same recycling mix. Putting several types of plastic together when recycling will simply contaminate the mix, which, in the end, leads to a faulty end product.
Another reason is that paint or ink often seeps into plastics. Take any branded plastic bottle, for instance, which almost always has colored packaging. Believe it or not, the ink on that packaging can help contaminate the plastic.
Biodegradable bags are completely chemical-free, which means you can play around with them as much as you like. Whether or not you’d like to store raw meat in bio-friendly bags (which is never recommended) or chew on them for boredom, you can at least rest assured knowing that you won’t be poisoned by toxicity.
An interesting use for biodegradable bags is for compost, which is a mix of food waste and organic material that is used to benefit the soil. Since biodegradable bags are completely natural, that means they can break down if thrown into the compost mix, which amusingly enough adds to the overall nutritional value!
While the average person is unlikely to buy compostable bags just to throw them into compost, the simple fact that you can do that is close to Sci-Fi.
Biodegradable bags send a message: “I’m doing whatever I can to fight against climate change and pollution.” While you, by your lonesome, aren’t going to make the difference we need, your effort will set the example for others to follow.
If you are the owner of a company, then you can also advertise your brand through biodegradable plastics as well. Establishing a wholesale deal where you also print your logo on the bags is a great way to show the world how much you care. Wholesale compostable bags, anyone?
Waste Not, Want Not
You might think that you’re doing a great job just by throwing your pet waste in the trash instead of leaving it on the ground (and you are), but the truth is that you can make even more of a difference by opting for bio-friendly bags.
Want to read even more information about biodegradable bags? We’ve got you covered. Click here to read 5 Interesting Facts About Biodegradable Plastic Bags!