What type of plastic bag?
Here at The Market Basket Co, we celebrate the movement away from single use plastic bags and towards more sustainable options. With many major grocery and chain stores now charging for reusable plastic bags, more and more people are getting in the habit of bringing their own bags (or baskets ??).
But with all the different plastic bag options – biodegradable, degradable, compostable – it’s hard to know what bags are better. So we thought it would be handy to break down (no pun intended) the different reusable bags on offer.
Yes, degradable bags will break down, however they just become smaller bits of plastic. These bits of microplastic are often ingested by animals, and as these species are consumed by other animals, the plastic gradually makes its way up the food chain. Unfortunately, despite the size of the plastic, the pieces never disintegrate, and will remain in our eco-system for years to come.
Something is bio-degradable when it can be broken down by living things, such as fungi, bacteria and microorganisms. To go through the ‘break down process’, this type of plastic needs to be exposed to warm temperatures and sunlight. This can be tricky if bio-degradable bags end up in the ocean, where warmth and sunlight are not part of the environment.
Compostable bags are the most environmentally-friendly option. These bags are made of plant materials and can generally be put in a compost or green organics bin. Under the right temperature and chemical conditions, these bags will leave no microplastics behind and “return” to the earth as compost. However before putting these bags in your green bin, it is best to check with your council to ensure they have composting facilities.
While it is beneficial to know the different types of plastic bags, your best option is to BYO bag. Whether you opt for a small one that can be folded into the bottom of your handbag, or go for style and convenience with a market basket, reusing your own bag will not only make you feel good, but the environment too.
We love spotting our market baskets out and about, brimming with groceries and fresh produce. Be sure to send us a photo of yours by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram @themarketbasketco