Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and plastics is becoming a way of life in the 21st century. If we’re ever going to get where we need to be, we need to rethink the everyday products that we use. Trash bags are a significant source of plastic production, but the good news is that there are already eco friendly trash bags available.
The Best Eco-Friendly Kitchen Trash Bags
Not sure where to start your search? We’ve got our top picks for you below!
These are some of the most durable compostable trash bags that you’ll ever find. They don’t fall apart or break as you take them to the compost bin, and are a low price option. These unscented and odorless compostable bags come in three different size options. AYOTEE packaged them in entirely recyclable materials for added sustainability.
AYOTEE trash bags claim that they are completely compostable, but their bags don’t have either BPI or European certifications and are Chinese made.
- 3 different size options
- Octagon-design at bottom to fit more waste
- Unscented and odorless
- Durable bags that don’t fall apart or break
- No BPI or European certification marks on the bags or box
Unless you’re separating your food scraps and other biodegradable waste and taking your bags to a compost facility, you don’t need compostable bags (more on that in the buyer’s guide!).
But no matter how you dispose of your trash, you want to make sure that your trash bag manufacturer utilizes materials from sustainably sourced plastic. Evolution trash bags are made from 70 percent recycled plastics, making them just as sustainable as compostable bags that aren’t disposed of properly.
Even better, since you aren’t paying for features that you aren’t using, Evolution Trash Bags are about half the price per bag of other sustainable trash bags.
- Made from 70% recycled plastics
- Made in the USA
- EPA, UL ECOLOGO, and USGBC LEED certified
- More flexible than other competitors
- Not biodegradable or compostable
- No handles on the bag
If you’re going to be composting your trash, you need a completely compostable bag. The only way that you’ll know if the bag can do what it says is if either the US BPI or Europe OK Compost home has certified it. In this case, it has both certifications.
The biggest drawback to fully compostable bags is the price tag. Fully compostable bags require extra manufacturing costs, leading to a higher price tag. However, you can purchase multiple boxes at a time to reduce the per-bag cost.
UNNI compostable trash bags are the only product we reviewed that received both US and European compost certifications. So, if you truly want an eco friendly trash bag that is fully compostable, this is the way to go!
- 100% compostable
- US BPI and Europe OK Compost Home Certified
- Break down quickly
- Only available in a 13-gallon size
- May be too thin for some users
>>Best eco-friendly diapers
Hippo Sak trash bags are entirely plant-based. The plastic used in these bags come from sugar cane, instead of petroleum-based products. This leaves a smaller carbon footprint but does drive up the price tag.
Hippo Sak makes their bags in the USA, are 100 percent recyclable and extremely durable. They are leak and puncture-proof. With these trash bags, you aren’t swapping quality for environmentally friendly. Instead, you’re getting a better-quality bag then you would if you were using a traditional trash bag.
- Made from plant-based materials
- 100% recyclable
- Has easy carrying handles
- Comes in both 45 and 90 count options
- Seams may split on bags
What to Consider When Buying an Eco-Friendly Trash Bag
When you’re trying to do the right thing for the environment, it can seem like there are thousands of things that you need to figure out. The truth is that it’s simpler than you think. Just keep reading our buyer’s guide, and we’ll let you know everything you need to know.
Compost vs. Recycling
If you’re buying compostable bags, you can’t put them in the recycling. In fact, one compostable bag in the recycling can contaminate the entire stream – diverting it all to a landfill.
Furthermore, you need to check your compostable bags to see where you can compost it. Sometimes it needs to be taken to a specialized facility, and other times you can compost it in your backyard!
Meanwhile, if you’re using a recyclable bag, you can only recycle it if all of the materials you are keeping in it are recyclable. If not, the bag will still end up at a landfill emitting methane.
Recycled Plastic vs. Plant-Based Plastic
Both options are better than using virgin plastics; however, manufacturers never utilized petroleum-based products to produce plant-based plastics. This lessens the carbon footprint of the product before it ever reaches you.
The biggest downside to plant-based plastics is that you need to ensure that the manufacturer sustainably harvests the plants used to produce their plastic bags. If the companies that are growing the plants are utilizing former rainforests, then your bags are doing more damage than good.
Meanwhile, recycled plastics already existed, and you’re just giving them a second use. It’s better that these products get recycled instead of heading straight to a landfill.
Both options are great environmental choices, but make sure you do your homework on both the product and the brand before purchasing.
Anybody can claim to be environmentally friendly or sustainable. But unless an independent organization is willing to verify this claim, there’s no proof that the company does what it claims to do. BPI certifications provide assurances that these products have been independently tested and do what they claim to do.
The Final Verdict
Finding an eco friendly trash bag is easier than you think! With a little research and dedication, you can reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to leave the Earth a bit better than you found it. Just be sure to select the correct, environmentally friendly product for you. a