For the last couple of years, we have been buying trash bags made from recycled plastic by Seventh Generation, thinking it was the best option to use in our trash can. The plastic has already been used more than once before ending up in the landfill, and we only use about one bag a week – meaning we probably dispose of less than 52 of these bags a year. A lot of people use plastic bags they get from the grocery store, but since we rarely get any (we use reusable bags) we have to buy our trash bags. These bags work really well, they don’t break, and they are not that expensive and have served us well.
However, I just bought a box of trash bags from Natural Value made from a hybrid of unrecycled plastic and biodegradable corn plastic – meaning that at least a percentage of these trash bags will completely biodegrade in the landfills. The DCP (degradable compostable plastic) remains dormant in the plastic until triggered by sufficient exposure to UV light, heat, or mechanical stress.The price was less than the other bags and theys seem to be almost as strong as the 100% plastic ones. But, the plastic that is in them is not recycled; it is new plastic according to any information I could find. So…
Plastic takes an estimated 500 years to biodegrade – so is it better to use a bag made from 100% “real” plastic where the entire bag could take that long to biodegrade? Or is it better to use a bag made from only 50% “real” plastic, but at least 50% of the bag goes away much quicker? I realize a lot of trash gets burned before it even has a chance to biodegrade, and in that case I think I would rather have only 50% of the bag be made of plastic, thus releasing less toxins into the environment. So what do you think? What are you doing at your house? I would love to know what everyone’s thoughts are on this so I can work towards making a decision!
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