I want to review what plastic we use or used to use, and where I feel we can still eliminate it altogether, before I try to find a solution for the plastic garbage bags we rely on.
- disposable diapers: maybe 10% of the 28 months the Unreliable Narrator needed them. A goodly number were “green” disposable diapers, the others, unfortunately, were not. The rest were cloth from a diaper service. Most of the time, we relied on Elimination Communication and got to a potty before the Unreliable Narrator voided.
- plastic toys: we seemed to have quite a number of these when the Unreliable Narrator was still Cutie Nubbin (a baby). I think the mouthing/drool factor played a part; also, I don’t think I was as conscious of the plastic we used then. Too bad, as it would’ve been nice to keep phthalates out of the Cutie Nubbin’s system as much as possible. Nevertheless, we’ve managed to phase these out and the Unreliable Narrator mostly has wooden or metal toys, and paper books now.
- plastic grocery bags: reusable cotton totes or TJ’s insulated bags.
- plastic snack size ziplock baggies: soy-based wax paper.
- plastic water bottles: replaced these with SIGG bottles (or Klean Kanteens, for another option).
- minty fresh gum: big 120 piece containers, and not blister packs of 12.
So, biodegradable trash bags–do they exist?
Lots of times we simply tote stuff out to the trash bin in paper bags. But if you have messy, wet garbage, then it can make the interior of your bin gross and draw insects and vermin. Yuck. After all, meat scraps cannot go in the compost.
We don’t have our compost bin/worm bin solution yet, so the amount of wet vegeatble waste that we produce is still enough that we need to bag it in something waterproof.
So here are some biodegradable/compostable garbage bag sources:
- biogroupusa.com (that “made from corn” problem–it doesn’t interrupt the agribusiness/GMO model of farming corn)
This MIT Technology Review article is about plastic shopping bags, and not plastic garbage bags, but the two are related and it does provide a critical look at actual biodegradability (versus the claims) and where manufacturers are in developing and bringing to market alternatives to the plastic bags used today. Here’s another great article from Lifegoggles.com that assesses the pros and cons of biodegradable plastic bags.
ETA: $9 for soy waxed paper made with bleached paper ($4/roll, then $5 s&h)? Ummm, no. See my “Bee the Change” effort to get Clorox and their subsidiary, Burt’s Bees, to make unbleached wax paper using beeswax.