Everything you need to know about biodegradable bags

biodegradable bagsAre biodegradable bags really better for the environment? Can I use a biodegradable carrier bag in my food caddy? Where can I buy eco-bags for taller bins? We get asked a fair few questions about bags here at Big Green Smile. So we figured it was high time to dedicate a blog post to them…









How long does it take a plastic bag to degrade?

The time it takes a bag to decompose really depends on what it’s made from and the amount of heat, light, air and bacteria it’s exposed to. No one knows exactly how long a ‘normal’ plastic bag is likely to take to degrade, but estimates range from 10 years to a few hundred years. A biodegradable one, on the other hand, should degrade in under two years in most cases. Don’t worry though, they’re designed to have a decent shelf-life; they won’t just disappear while they’re in your kitchen cupboard!

What are biodegradable bags made from?

Some biodegradable bags are made from plant-based materials, while others are made from normal plastic that’s had extra elements added to make it degrade much faster than normal.

What’s the difference between compostable bags and biodegradable bags?

Compostable bags are made from 100% plant-based materials, which isn’t always the case with other biodegradable bags. Compostable bags also usually break down much quicker as long as they have enough heat. Not all biodegradable plastic is compostable, which is why you can’t use a biodegradable carrier bag to line your food caddy.

Eco bin bags

We sell a range of earth-friendly bin bags at Big Green Smile, including swing bin liners, value black bin bags and whopping 136 litre trash bags. Taller bin? Try If You Care’s Tall Kitchen Bags. While they’re not biodegradable, they are made from 97% recycled plastic.

Compostable food bin bags

Food caddy bags need to be fully compostable so that they break down at a similar rate to the food waste they contain. Ecozone’s Eco Compostable Bags are a generous 10 litres and created to be strong and reliable. (Anyone who’s ended up with an inferior bag tearing on the way from kitchen to outside bin will know how important that is!) Need a bigger bag? BioBag Compostable 20 Litre Bin Liners are ideal. They can even fit most of the outdoor food waste bins, so you can just empty your food scraps straight in if you want to.

Sustainable food bags

Whether you’re freezing leftovers or storing your sarnies for lunch, there’s no denying that food bags are convenient. Unfortunately, most take decades to degrade. Luckily, we have plenty of alternatives for you, including D2W Degradable Food Freezer Bags, which are a customer favourite and offer superb value for money.

Looking for an alternative to plastic film? We highly recommend Bees’ Wraps – they’re made from organic cloth, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil and can be used again and again.

Shop all biodegradable bags