plastic garbage bag alternatives?
November 9, 2016 6:33 PM   Subscribe

so i've never had to purchase garbage bags.. always just get plastic grocery bags instead of canvas when i'm low. i know we shouldn't and i voted for the ban yesterday but now i'm not sure what to use.

i can still pay .10/bag when I need some but that kind of defeats the whole eliminating plastic thing.. not using a bag at all seems like it would allow trash to blow all over as the apartment bins are often overflowing but maybe it's worked for you? do the "biodegradable" ones actual degrade in landfills? also my apartment complex does not have any trash/recycling/composting options. same question from 2010 just suggested more plastic bags.. so what are you guys using?
posted by secretdawn to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Compostable bio bags are actually compostable, according to the city where I live which encourages me to use them for my compost.

However, they are very thin and prone to holes and leaks. Like, you're out of luck if you need to throw away broken glass...which I guess would be recycled anyway? But hey, maybe you could double some of these bags up and it wouldn't be so bad.
posted by Pearl928 at 6:46 PM on November 9, 2016

Ah, saving the planet one piece of plastic at a time. Everyone I know here in Environmentalist Heaven brings canvas bags to the store and buys boxes of plastic bags for their garbage and "wet carry" uses. We also buy paper bags from the store to line our kitchen garbage.

Go ahead, do whatever's easy. The ONE THING that you can actually do to help the environment is to TIE A KNOT IN YOUR PLASTIC BAGS (the kind you put your loose produce in, for instance). If you can manage to do it, tie that knot. It helps wildlife and it helps landfill management. Thank you.
posted by kestralwing at 8:09 PM on November 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I use BioBags for my compost, but as Pearl928 said, they're not the most sturdy. They're fine for a small bag of compost that you take out every day or so. I wouldn't bet on them for a decent-sized bag of garbage.

I'd just get whatever size Glad garbage bags fit your garbage can.
posted by radioamy at 9:08 PM on November 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Get cans with secured lids and scrub them weekly.
posted by brujita at 9:18 PM on November 9, 2016

As someone in your situation I still find myself drowning in disposable plastic grocery bags, due to shopping outside of my city or forgetting a bag. You will still have plenty.
posted by pintapicasso at 2:09 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't use a bag at all in some trash cans, but I won't put anything wet in them. The trash in the kitchen has a 13 gallon plastic bag in it. The ones in the bathrooms have small bags in them. I'm still working through all the plastic bags that accumulated in the family over the last few years, but when that ends, I'll probably just buy small liner bags.
posted by advicepig at 7:15 AM on November 10, 2016

You need to use plastic bags to put your trash in. I would be surprised if your apartment did not have that as a requirement; mine does, and every other place that I've lived does too. Think about it from the trash collectors' point of view.

I voted for our bag ban here (Austin) years ago and I always bring my reusable ones to the gro sto. But trash bags? Do everyone a favor and put your gross shit in plastic Hefty (Glad, store-brand, whatever) bags. Whoever has to deal with your refuse will silently thank you.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:21 AM on November 10, 2016

For small cans i don't use bags. I have a tall size kitchen can with purchased trash bags. On trash night I dump the smaller cans (containing only dry bits) into the large kitchen can, and there's my weekly bag of trash.

The small cans get washed out. I also try to produce as little trash as i can.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:45 AM on November 10, 2016

I have a large bag in the back of my car, and it is full of reusable bags. My wife does the same. We use BioBags for compost. We buy trash bags (thin cheap ones) for actual non-compostable, non-recyclable garbage and pet waste.

If there were an inexpensive biodegradable trash bag, we'd get them, but it sucks when the eco-friendly bags are priced at $15 for 25 bags, vs. 250 bags at the same price for cheapo store brand.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:00 PM on November 10, 2016

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