Let’s talk trash – what’s the best way to package household rubbish?
Many of us used to reuse our supermarket shopping bags as bin liners. But since the ‘plastic bag ban’ came into effect mid-2019 that’s no longer an option. So now we have the opportunity to really consider what we do with our waste.
Plastic bin liners, like the old shopping bags, have been standard for a long time. It’s a habit long ingrained. But is this single-use of yet another plastic product really necessary? Let’s consider the options…
Firstly, there’s the status-quo, plastic bin liners. And let’s face it - if you have a busy, messy household, with kids running amuck, they are super convenient. The left over baked beans from breakfast, squished banana that came home in a lunchbox, and sopping paper towels used to mop up spilt milk can all get dumped in a plastic bin liner without any further consideration. It’s unlikely to leak (so long as it doesn’t rip) and you can leave it there as little or long as you like. Easy.
If this no-fuss option sounds like you how about taking a small step in the right direction by using recycled plastic bin liners? You get all the convenience of regular plastic. And they’re even just as strong but, because recycled plastic doesn’t require additional fossil fuels to produce, their manufacture is much less intensive on the environment. If you’re stuck on plastic, but re-using an existing resource makes sense too, give Ecopack Recycled Bin Liners a try.
At the other end of the eco spectrum are unlined bins. Yes, rubbish in the nude! It’s not as outrageous as it sounds – lots of people are doing it – but it does take a little more effort to be this eco-friendly. It means you’ll most likely have to wash your bins every time they’re emptied but if you live in a quieter, more considerate household that’s totally do-able. Particularly for paper waste and home office bins that aren’t likely to have mucky contents anyway.
Using newspaper or paper towel to line the bottom of your bin is a great hack for those wanting to go liner-less. It will absorb any extra moisture and stop bits sticking to the bottom of your bin.
An alternative option to plastic is a compostable bin liner. These are designed to break down so you can use them for food scraps or garden waste then dump them straight into your home compost. Or you can use them for your general household waste and they’ll eventually break down in landfill environment too (they will take a little longer because landfills or often kept cool and dry unlike a warm, moist compost pile).
You can buy Ecopack compostable bin liners in all sizes – from extra small caddies right up to wheelie bin sizes. Compostable bin liners perform much like your standard plastic bag but there are a few considerations. Because they’re made to break down, you’ll want to keep them in a cool, dry place (to avoid decomposition starting prematurely) and make sure they’re within 9 months of the manufacture date. Avoid too much moister (or use that trick of lining them with paper) and change them every 2 – 3 days.
It’s safe to say there’s an option for every user and every bin. As the saying goes… “sustainability needs to be sustainable for you” so pick an option that works for you. If we all try to do just a little better, and try to reduce the amount of rubbish going in the bin in the first place, we’re making strides in the right direction.