Every time we can replace single-use plastic with something recyclable or biodegradable, we are taking another step toward protecting the earth and saving the environment. One easy swap is switching to biodegradable trash bags.
More and more companies are stepping up to create eco-friendly products that we can use to replace the plastic and cut down on the harmful materials going into the environment.
For a long time, biodegradable and compostable trash bags were too flimsy for everyday use, but that is changing. Many companies have come out with thicker, more reliable bags that you can use, very similar to the plastic trash bags you’re used to. To help you make this swap with confidence, we have done some research and found some of the best biodegradable trash bags on the market today.
Top 3 Best Biodegradable Trash Bags of 2021
- JTSC Products Kitchen Bags: Best Overall Biodegradable Trash Bags
- Techshare Small Trash Bags: Best Budget Biodegradable Trash Bags
- UNNI Mini Kitchen Waste Bags: Best Mini Biodegradable Trash Bags
Reviews of the Best Biodegradable Trash Bags
Quick Look: 100% Biodegradable and compostable. Comes in three sizes. Perfect for kitchen and yard waste. Plastic and polyethylene free. Thick and strong. ASTM D6400 Certified.
These JTSC Products Kitchen Bags are exactly what you would want in a kitchen trash bag. They are thick and tear-resistant so they are able to keep all your kitchen waste contained. These bags come in three sizes, 3, 8, and 13 gallons, so you can find the right size for your trash can.
You can use these bags for kitchen waste, paper trash, and even yard waste. Like most compostable bags, they are not meant to hold fluids, so make sure you stick to solid food waste.
Speaking of being compostable, these bags are 100% biodegradable and compostable. They do not contain any plastic or polyethylene and usually decompose within 45 to 90 days.Learn More and Buy Now at Amazon
If you would like to try out biodegradable trash bags, but do not want to make a big investment, check out the Techshare Small Trash Bags. They can hold 4 to 6 gallons, making them the perfect size for your bathroom, living room, or office trash cans.
These bags are designed to be tough. They are leak and tear-resistant and can contain liquids for a short amount of time. They are also heat-resistant, making them great for use in the kitchen.
Made from corn starch and other natural ingredients, you can feel good about using these bags in every room of your house. They are completely non-toxic and they are scent-free, so you will never be bothered by that unpleasant smell that some biodegradable bags have.Learn More and Buy Now at Amazon
Sometimes all you need is a little trash bag, like in the car or bathroom or on the counter while you’re cooking. Well, these 2.6 gallon UNNI Mini Kitchen Waste Bags are the perfect size for your smaller trash disposal needs.
Do not let their smaller size deceive you, these are tough little bags. You can use them for paper, food, and yard waste. These are the perfect size to use while you’re chopping vegetables. The bag can sit on the counter without taking up too much space. Simply fill it with scraps, tie it up, and it’s ready for the compost pile.
These bags are 100% compostable, meaning they are completely polyethylene free. Under proper composting conditions, they begin to break down within just a few days. UNNI makes a wide variety of biodegradable bags, so if this size doesn’t work for you, they are sure to have a style that will.Learn More and Buy Now at Amazon
How We Chose The Best Biodegradable Trash Bags
Choosing the best biodegradable trash bags is very similar to choosing regular trash bags, the only difference being that we want the bag to break down easily and cleanly. With this in mind, we chose our favorite biodegradable trash bags based on strength and durability, biodegradability, and ease of use.
Strength and Durability
Having the bottom of your trash bag rip out is never a good experience. We looked for bags that were tough enough to hold up to your everyday waste disposal needs. Features like being thick, leak-proof, and tear-resistant are all important when it comes to choosing trash bags that you can depend on to get the job done.
The whole point of choosing biodegradable trash bags is knowing that those bags will quickly and cleanly break down after you’re done using them. That is why we chose bags that were 100% compostable and biodegradable. We looked for bags that would break down quickly and do so without leaving any harmful residue.
Ease of Use
Ease of use may seem like a given when it comes to trash bags, but there are few elements that can make purchasing and using these trash bags a little more convenient. Features like multiple sizes and drawstrings can make trash disposal a lot easier. That is why we chose a wide variety of trash bags from companies that make even more styles. Sometimes switching to earth-friendly products can feel limiting, but we wanted to show you that this is a switch you can make without inconveniencing yourself or your family. Whatever size or style of trash bag you’re used to using, there is a biodegradable version that is not only comparable but also much better for the environment.
What You Need To Know About Biodegradable Trash Bags
There are a few key things that you should be aware of before making the switch to biodegradable trash bags.
Biodegradable Versus Compostable
Although biodegradable and compostable are terms that a lot of people use interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two terms. Both biodegradable and compostable products are meant to break down over a short amount of time. Biodegradable products are meant to break down eventually, no matter their surroundings. Compostable products are designed to break down quicker under the right composting conditions. All of the products that we chose for our list are both compostable and biodegradable. This means that under composting conditions they will break down very quickly, but they will also break down eventually, no matter the surroundings.
When creating eco-friendly products, there are certain standards that companies have to meet. When looking for biodegradable trash bags you will start to see terms like “BPI Certified” and “ASTM D6400 Certified”. BPI stands for the Biodegradable Products Institute, an association that was established to provide scientific testing for and education concerning composting. If a product is BPI certified, that product has been scientifically tested to ensure that is biodegradable. ASTM D6400 is a certification that is only given once a product has been proven to be fully compostable in a municipal or industrial composting facility. As you can guess, these are important certifications. If you buy a product that is BPI and ASTM D6400 certified, you can know that that product will break down without leaving behind any harmful chemicals or residue in the soil.
Use and Storage
One very important thing to know about biodegradable trash bags is that they are designed to break down when they are exposed to moisture and heat. Although that is a wonderful trait in terms of biodegradability, it is not so great if you do not take your trash out very often. In terms of paper trash, these bags can be used exactly like plastic bags, but if you plan on using them where moisture is present, it is a little different. Most companies suggest that you avoid pouring liquids into any biodegradable bag unless you are planning on disposing of the bag immediately. If you are using these bags for kitchen scraps, you should change the bag every couple days, otherwise, the moisture from the scraps will cause the bag to break down.
When it comes to storage, biodegradable bags should be stored in a cool dry place because, as you now know, heat and moisture speed up the biodegrading process. Some manufacturers also recommend that you do not purchase more bags than you can use in 6 to 9 months, because they will start to break down naturally over time.
How to Choose The Best Biodegradable Trash Bags
There are just a few simple things that you should consider when choosing the best biodegradable bags for you.
Follow The Rules
If you are seeking biodegradable bags to comply with your city’s ordinances then you will want to read the rules very carefully. Some cities require biodegradable bags where others require compostable bags. It is almost guaranteed that they will require some kind of certification, so make sure you know all the requirements before making your purchase so you do not get stuck with a product that you can’t use.
The Proper Size
Since these bags should be changed more often than plastic garbage bags, some people prefer to purchase smaller bags so they never have to throw out a bag that is only half full. If you already take your trash out every other day or you’re purchasing these for dry products only, such as paper trash, then simply buy the same size that you usually purchase when buying plastic trash bags.
Understandably, biodegradable bags are a bit more expensive than traditional plastic bags, so the cost is definitely something to take into consideration. Thanks to an increase in popularity and manufacturing, the prices have come down a bit, so you will be sure to find something that fits into your budget. Just remember that if you have to take the trash out more often, you’ll need more bags, so keep that in mind when you are comparing prices.
Every time you choose to use an earth-friendly product over a single-use plastic product you are helping to protect the environment. Choosing to use biodegradable trash bags can drastically decrease the amount of plastic in landfills. Even though using and storing biodegradable trash bags is a little different from using plastic bags, the switch is well worth it.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of our top biodegradable trash bag picks, but we recommend the JTSC Products Kitchen Bags for durability, strength and biodegradability. Compare all of your options before making a final decision, though, to make sure that you’re choosing the right model for your circumstances.