We all want to be sustainable, but sometimes it’s a challenge to know we are making the right decisions. When it comes to ‘plastic’ bags, the options can certainly be confusing. Some bags are marketed as ‘recyclable’, some ‘made from recycled materials’, and others as being ‘compostable’ or even ‘bio-degradable’.
But which is best?
If we were to choose a bag that is best for the planet, and in turn our health, the clear answer has to be ‘compostable’ bags.
‘Bio-degradable’ has become a marketing term. After all, given enough time everything will eventually bio-degrade… And plastic bags, whether ‘recyclable’ or ‘made from recycled materials’, all consume fossil fuels to produce in the first place – and most municipalities still have no functional recycling system for them in any event.
Finally, it’s important to know that your ‘compostable’ bags have been independently certified as compostable. Unfortunately, we cannot always trust the manufacturer’s claims. A ‘certified compostable’ bag will:
- be made of sustainable materials,
- break down quickly, and
- break down into materials that are harmless and non toxic to the environment.
A ‘bio-degradable’ bag can meet none of these criteria and still be called bio-degradable.
We’ve chosen to partner with Eco-Safe brand compostable bags. Their bags are made in North America, and are independently certified by two separate and accredited organizations, BPI and CMA. More on these two organizations follows.
What is BPI Certification?
Within North America, BPI is a leader in providing certifications for compostable products and packaging. Their thorough certification process has been trusted to validate the compostability of thousands of different products and packages, giving businesses the confidence they need to launch more sustainable, forward thinking products.
When packaging becomes BPI Certified, customers as well as composters at the industrial level have assurance that its compostability has been properly tested and it can be thrown in the compost bin without hesitation. BPI Certification means that people can make smarter decisions about how they dispose of the products they buy and the packaging it comes in.
What is CMA certification?
Similar to BPI, CMA tests the compostability of products. They are a global leader in providing commercial composting facilities the information they need in order to evaluate which products can pass through the composting system acceptably and sustainably.