Biodegradable Plastic Bags or Reusable Bags

29 Jan 2014

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While reusable bags seem to be the way of the future, biodegradable shopping bags can help fill the gap in store-provided reusable bags that don't harm the environment.

Plastic bags that are provided by retailers have come under a lot of fire in recent years. The debate over whether or not paper is better than plastic has led many shoppers to bring their own, reusable bags with them on shopping trips.

What about those times shoppers leave their bag at home, for those who buy more than their bags can hold, or for those who don’t want to bring bags to the store with them? For those scenarios, shopping bags that are biodegradable can be the answer.

Advantages of Biodegradable Plastic Bags

While 100% paper shopping bags are completely biodegradable, most retailers hesitate to offer them. Paper bags can be expensive to purchase, and do their share of damage to the environment as well. Many paper shopping bags are also reinforced with plastics, waxes, chemicals, and other products to help them hold up to heavy purchases. These reinforcements rob the bag of its biodegradable attribute and eliminate any benefit to the environment in using a paper bag.

Standard Plastic Bags Vs Biodegradable Bags

Standard plastic shopping bags, such as the kind used in most grocery stores can take a minimum of 20 years to begin breaking down in composition. What little biodegrading that does take place is incomplete and plastic chemicals and compounds leach into the surrounding environment, poisoning it.

Recycled, reusable plastic shopping bags are a great alternative to standard shopping bags, yet aren't always the most practical solution. Shoppers can forget to bring them along, not have them on hand for impulse purchases, not have the right bag size for the purchase being made or not have enough bags. The cost of reusable bags can also be a deterrent to some consumers who expect the retailer to provide a bag for their use.

For more information on biodegradable plastic bags, contact Atlantic Poly.

Green Living