Best Biodegradable Trash Bags

The Best Biodegradable Trash Bags For a Healthier World

Biodegradable and compostable bags are the next big step to take to help create a better and healthier world because plastics are still one of the biggest culprits of pollution. With the best biodegradable trash bags, you can help keep landfills and other regions clear from plastic bags and microplastics because these bags will naturally decompose into nutrients that help nourish the soil.

In this guide, we take a look at eco-friendly trash bags that are just as functional as your everyday plastic bag, and we share useful tips to help you choose quality bags so you can get the best value for your money.

What Is the Difference Between Biodegradable and Compostable Bags?

Before we dive in and review the best eco-friendly bags, it is important to understand the difference between biodegradable and compostable bags.

These bags are usually made from one of two bioplastics. Polylactic acid is an edible type of bioplastic that is usually made from sugars in plant matter like corn starch, cassava, and sugarcane. Polyhydroxyalkanoate is genetically engineered and made from microorganisms from organic materials.

Bioplastics are better alternatives than traditional plastic, but they still have an effect on the environment since the manufacturing processes of these products usually result in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the gasses produced by these manufacturing processes have a much smaller impact on the environment compared to the manufacturing processes of traditional plastic bags, especially considering how long normal plastic takes to break down.

The main difference between biodegradable bags and compostable bags is their breakdown method. Here is a quick look at how these two eco-friendly bag types are designed to decompose.

Biodegradable trash bags

Biodegradable plastic bags are a type of bag that can be broken down by microorganisms into carbon dioxide and compost under the right conditions.

Compostable plastic bags

These bags are designed to break down in a compost site at the same rate as organic plant matter. The breakdown process is also achieved by microorganisms and these compounds are broken down into water, carbon dioxide, and other compounds. This type of bag will leave no toxic residue behind.

Are All Biodegradable Bags Environmentally Safe?

Buyers should be wary of trash bags that might contain small quantities of recycled plastics. Some bags are considered eco-friendly because they contain 100% recycled plastic instead of newly manufactured plastics.

These recycled plastic bags are designed to reduce pollution rates but they still include plastic to help strengthen the bag and enhance its durability. These types of bags still need to be recycled since they pose a risk to the environment and may result in microplastic pollution.

The best eco trash bags are the ones that are compostable and biodegradable since these bags are manufactured from organic, renewable matter, and they eventually fully decompose and leave no toxins or microplastics behind.

Recycled plastic takes just as long as conventional plastic to naturally break down. The typical breakdown period of polyethylene plastic bags ranges from 500 to 1000 years in landfill conditions. The most environmentally-safe decision you can make is to stick to compostable trash bags.

The 5 Best Biodegradable Trash Bags

Now that you know the main differences between biodegradable bag types, it is time for you to start shopping for the right bag to use at home. In this review, we compare the five highest quality and most popular eco-friendly trash bags that you can get for home or industrial use.

1. Hippo Sak Plant-Based Kitchen Bags – The Best Biodegradable Bags with Handles

A couple of handle grips sure do come in handy when you are dealing with smelly organic waste, and that is exactly why we recommend these kitchen bags by Hippo Sak. Unlike the other bags on our list, this one is fitted with handles so you can easily knot the bag shut when it is full or easily carry it untied.

These bags are not the most eco-friendly on our list because they are not compostable. They are made from 20% biodegradable plastics like polyethylene and 80% plant-based materials. The plant-based materials will naturally decompose and the biodegradable plastics also have an advanced degradation rate. If these bags do end up in landfills, they won’t cause quite as much pollution or carbon dioxide as your average plastic trash bag. To entirely eliminate pollution, though, you will need to recycle these bags. They are 100% recyclable, which can also help eliminate toxins in landfills.

Each Hippo Sak pack contains white unscented bags. These bags are strong and have reinforced bottoms to keep them from spilling when you lift heavy loads. The bags have a slower degrading rate compared to compostable bags, which can help prevent fluid leaks if you don’t take out the trash every single day. With these bags, you can keep the bag an entire week and fill it to the brim before tossing it out.

Specifications

  • Bag size – 15.5 x 8.5 x 29 Inches
  • Capacity – 13 Gallons
  • Color – White
  • Main materials – Low-density polyethylene and 80% sugar cane plant-based sugar cane materials.
  • Fragrance – Unscented
  • Pack qty – 45 or 90 count
  • Design – Flat design with handles
  • Compostable – No but recyclable
  • Leakproof – Yes

Pros

  • Easy-grip handles
  • Reinforced at the base
  • Leak-proof, keeps fluids locked inside
  • Strong as regular plastic trash bags
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Low-density polyethylene used in them are 100% recyclable
  • Uses 80% plant-based materials, which won’t harm the environment

Cons

  • Not 100% plastic-free
  • Not compostable
  • Need to be recycled to prevent micro-plastic contamination

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2. UNNI 100% Compostable Bags – The Overall Best Compostable Bags

These compostable trash bags by UNNI are ideal for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment. Unlike plastic trash bags, these bags don’t result in any pollution because they are made from organic materials like plant starch. You can safely use these bags for food waste and toss them into your compost bin or worm farm. When the bag comes into contact with air, moisture, and natural enzymes, it will start to wear down and decompose into compost that you can use to fertilize your garden.

UNNI bags are quite popular with over 4,600 Amazon reviews and positive star ratings because they are very handy for reducing your plastic waste. These bags are sold in large 50-count packs, and they are unscented with a lime green color. They should stay in great condition as long as you store them in a cool dry place, and you can use the bags for any type of waste. They are especially handy for garden waste and are accepted by most industrial composting facilities.

Specifications

  • Bag size – 23.75 x 31.5 Inches
  • Capacity – 13 Gallons
  • Color – Green
  • Main materials – Plant starch
  • Fragrance – Unscented
  • Pack qty – 50 Count
  • Design – Handle free rounded with pointy base
  • Compostable – 100% Compostable
  • Leakproof – Yes but will start leaking once it starts to decompose

Pros

  • Ideal for food scraps since it can go in the compost bin
  • Will naturally biodegrade in a few days if they have food inside
  • Hold up very well for a compostable product
  • Nice color and a luxury feel
  • Great bag for people who have a lot of daily trash to dispose of
  • Can be used for general household trash or green waste if you want to eliminate plastic in your home
  • By inserting napkins at the bag base, you can prolong the durability of the bag when adding moist contents

Cons

  • Trash needs to be taken out within 24 hours or the bag can start to leak
  • They can be challenging to knot shut
  • Wet or damp trash will start the biodegradation process

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3. FORID Compostable Trash Bags – The Best Budget Biodegradable Trash Bags

FORID also supplies quality compostable bags that are perfect for capturing and repurposing food scrap pieces. These compostable trash bags are quite affordable for a large 80-count pack, and they can be used for a number of waste disposal purposes. The bags are practical for general household waste, pet waste, and kitchen trash. Many users also use them for dry camping toilets because they come in different sizes.

Instead of using fossil fuels, manufacturers use plant matter like corn starch to manufacture these bags. The bags will stay in good shape as long as you store them in a cool, dry place but will naturally degrade once they contact wet food, sunlight, or air.

Buyers comment that the bags are quite tough for a biodegradable product and this is thanks to its octagonal shape. But if you leave moist trash in the bag for too long, it can start to decompose, which may result in leaks.

You might want to check with commercial composting facilities before you use this bag for general waste. The bags are unstamped and could be rejected by some composting firms. However, they are ideal for home composting bins.

Specifications

  • Bag size – 31.4 x 24.8 Inches
  • Capacity – 13 Gallons (Other sizes available)
  • Color – Green
  • Main materials – Plant starch
  • Fragrance – Unscented
  • Pack qty – 80 Count
  • Design – Handle free octagonal bottom with tear-off design
  • Compostable – Yes
  • Leak proof – Yes

Pros

  • Different sizes available so you can get bags for any trash can size
  • 100% compostable and suitable for home composting
  • Naturally start decomposing when exposed to moisture, air, and natural enzymes
  • Nice and sturdy for a biodegradable product
  • No leaks or holes in the bag, and it captures moisture well
  • Fit a standard 13-gallon trash can well
  • Good product for home compost bins or worm farms
  • Can be used for food scraps or off-grid composting toilets

Cons

  • Not stamped and therefore are not accepted by all composting landfills
  • Moist trash can cause the bags to start biodegrading before they are full
  • Don’t come with a drawstring for easy knotting

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4. AYOTEE Compostable Trash Bags – A Good Alternative Green Trash Bag

The green trash bags by AYOTEE are also a good pick if you need a bag that is made from compostable material. These compostable garbage bags are fossil fuel free and can be used for home composting bins since the bag will naturally start to break down when exposed to organic waste materials.

The bags are unscented and green in color. They are sold in large 60-count packs, and you can get different sizes like the 8-gallon, 4-gallon, 1.2-gallon, or 13-gallon bag size. These bags are not quite as strong as regular trash bags but they are very tough for something that is made from compostable materials because they are designed with an octagonal shape to keep them from tearing.

The eco-friendly trash bags can be used for any type of garbage and can help reduce pollution in landfills and other areas. They are, however, best suited for organic matter or for composting purposes.

It is important not to just leave these bags outside since they can take quite a while to fully degrade and can be a choking hazard to wild animals.

Specifications

  • Bag size – 23.6 x 31.5 Inches
  • Capacity – 13 Gallon (Other sizes available)
  • Color – Turquoise
  • Fragrance – Unscented
  • Pack qty – 60 Count
  • Design – Handle free with octagonal bottom
  • Compostable – Yes
  • Leak proof – Yes until it starts to biodegrade

Pros

  • Polymers of the bag can be degraded by microbes into CO2 and water
  • Naturally breaks down with your food scraps
  • Won’t easily break or separate too early
  • Good replacement for plastic waste bags
  • Various sizes available so you can find bags for every trash can size
  • Not easily pierced or torn
  • Leak-proof and will keep moisture trapped inside for 24 hours
  • Quality feel and a light green color that looks stylish

Cons

  • Not certified biodegradable
  • Can take a while to start decomposing

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5. Jaoul Biodegradable Trash Bags – The Best Corn Starch Waste Bags

Jaoul also has good quality eco-friendly bags that you can get for home use or even for industrial facilities.

These eco-friendly trash bags are made from natural plant matter like corn starch. The bags are green and you can choose from different sizes like 1.2-gallon, 2.6-gallon, 4.6-gallon, 8-gallon, or 13-gallon bag sizes. The plastic bags come in roll form with clear easy-tear breakpoints, and they are fragrant free with a light green color.

Jaoul bags usually take about two weeks to start decomposing but can start degrading earlier if lots of moist food is added to the bags. These bags are practical for public use, the kitchen, patio areas, street use, and many other areas and can make a huge difference in pollution levels since they will decompose after a while. You can also use the bags for your compost bin since they will decompose into fertilizer that you can use for your garden.

Specifications

  • Bag size – 23.5 x 13.5 Inches
  • Capacity – 13 Gallons
  • Color – Green
  • Main materials – PSM starch and PE materials
  • Fragrance – Unscented
  • Pack qty – 60 Count
  • Design – Handle free octagonal shape
  • Compostable – Yes
  • Leakproof – Yes

Pros

  • Usually take about two weeks to start degrading
  • Made of quality materials
  • Won’t rip easily and can handle quite a bit of weight
  • Insects can safely consume the bag to speed up the composting process
  • Affordable price for compostable bags
  • Good product to replace plastic bag use
  • Terrific for food scraps, dog poop, and other organic waste
  • Good fit for average 13-gallon bins

Cons

  • Can rip once poked
  • Can start to leak if moist food is kept in them for too long

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Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide helped you find the best biodegradable trash bags so you can help create a healthy green earth.

If you are also looking for other quality eco-friendly products like pet poop bags, eco-friendly laundry detergent, or other eco-friendly alternative products, please take a look at some of our other guides. On Be Green and Clean, we review all the latest and best eco products so you can easily find all the best sustainable products for home use.

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