Recently I visited my local organic supermarket for a trip of excitement. So many great products, inspiring ideas and generally a lot of great organic treats. This store has the typical bulk food bins allowing you to purchase the amount you really require, save some money, buy some traditionally unavailable products and maybe in the long-term the potential to save on packaging typically used to provide these products in mainstream supermarkets.
In many of the health food stores or places you typically buy these bulk options the store still typically provides some sort of traditional plastic bag for you to place these bulk items into. The store I visited today however had rolls of corn starch bags, which are able to be composted. What a terrific idea!
As you may have seen in one of my previous posts, I have previously determined that I can reduce my plastic bag consumption by using reusable shopping bags and generally refusing plastic bag options, however I was stumped as to what I could do as a liner my regular garbage bin in my kitchen. I think I now have an alternative. Corn starch compostable bags!
The premise is that these bags can break down in about 12 weeks time in the right conditions. The right conditions are more likely to occur in your backyard compost than the local landfill, but I believe that surely these compostable bags have got to be a better option in the landfill than your regular plastic bag. Surely?
So, my next thought process was, where can I get these things from and how much do they cost? Well based on my hour long internet search for Australian suppliers it seems there is a variety of products and also a wide variety in cost. They generally seem to be available in bulk, however there are a few companies that seem to be directed at the residential interest with less than 100 bags per roll or box type quantities available. However, I guess if you got a few friends interested I'm sure that the you could buy a bulk supply and then distribute these across a few families quick enough.
Also, found an interesting group called Say NO to plastic bags today! which discusses alternatives to plastic bags and provides some information to retailers in regards to impacts of traditional plastic bags and strategies to either reduce the use of plastic bags in their business or encourage the use of alternatives (with much of this information also a useful resource for the general public). This group also has a User's Guide directly aimed at retailers as a printable information sheet to assist in this transition process.
If you're interested I can post a list of suppliers of some of the truly biodegradable bags in the future.