Overflowing dumpster

Green don't Greenwash your Garbage

Plastic bag bans seem to have vanished, and too many bags are claiming to be green. So let’s cut through the garbage and clarify which bags are green and which are not. The truth is, it depends on where the waste is headed. Here are some basic principles:

  • The best plastic bag is the one you don’t use. If you’re offered one while shopping say NO and have a reusable bag with you.
  • The best reusable bags are ones that can be washed and reused indefinitely.
  • Compostable or biodegradable bags are only “green” if the waste inside is headed for a compost facility. These bags biodegrade and emit methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas. This process is managed in compost facilities, not in landfills. So don’t put your trash in these bags if its headed for landfill.
  • Bags made of recycled plastic are best if the trash is headed for landfill. They won’t biodegrade and they create a market for recycling plastic. 
  • Avoid bags made of virgin plastic. This is the vast majority of plastic bags available in stores and given away at checkouts. There’s no green reason to use them,
  • All of these principles apply to dog poop bags. The greenest are made from recycled plastic.
  • Although plastic bags can’t be recycled using curbside pick up, there are bins in some grocery stores where you can leave them. They will be taken to special facilities that recycle different types of plastic bags and film. Search for “plastic bag recycling near me.”

Whenever you need bags check in with us. We’ll continue to add more options to our store.

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Washable and reusable bags are greenest way to throw away. These are designed for diapers, so you know they can hold whatever you put in them. When it’s full just empty into the appropriate bin, and machine wash the bag when it needs it.

Washable garbage bags come in 13 gal capacity or less, and a variety of colors. They’re designed for diapers, so you can be sure they’re leakproof, anti-bacterial and last for years. No more single use plastic garbage bags! 

Alpha Bags are made from 100% recycled plastic, and are recyclable. They’re sturdy, leakproof 13 gal bags. Perfect for kitchen and most household garbage.

These are the greenest bags for trash headed for landfill. Because they are plastic they won’t decompose and emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Because they are made of recycled plastic they contribute to a recycle economy and make use of plastics that are already a part of it. Recycled plastic has a much smaller carbon footprint than virgin or new plastic.

It should be noted that Alpha bags pose all the hazards of plastic and should be disposed of properly so that they don’t become toxic litter.

GreenPolly dog poop bags are made of 80-90% post-consumer recycled plastic and 10-20% plastic made from sugarcane. If your dog’s poo is headed for landfill this is the greenest kind of bag to use. 

Compostable or biodegradable bags sound green, but for pet waste they aren’t. Poop is too toxic to compost. A compostable bag and the poop inside will decompose in landfill and emit methane which is a potent greenhouse gas.

Using recycled plastic contributes to a recycle economy and has a much smaller carbon footprint than virgin plastic. Of course, they pose all the environmental hazards of any plastic bag and should be disposed of responsibly so they don’t end up littering landscapes and waterways.

If your garbage is compostable ProGreen bags are the greenest way to throw it away. They’re made from plant-based materials and meet the highest compostable requirements by US law (CA and NY) and European. They are strong and thick but will biodegrade along with your food and yard waste, in home or industrial compost. Click here to see a wide range of sizes available on Amazon.

Compostable bags are not recommended for normal garbage destined for landfills. They will biodegrade and emit methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas. This process is managed in compost facilities, but not in landfill.

Trashwise Contractor Bags - compostable

Trashwise biodegradable Contractor Bags

Trashwise heavy-duty, 42 gal, compostable bags work great for yard waste. They’re sturdy enough to hold yard debris that would tear most compostable bags.

The material feels like plastic, but it’s plant-based and non-GMO. Each bag is well marked so that waste facilities can see they are compostable and not plastic.

It should be noted that they will start to biodegrade and may tear shortly after they’re filled with damp yard waste or exposed to the elements. I place my yard waste in a reusable bag in a bin. When it’s time to put it our for pick up I dump it into a Trashwise.