written by: Rebecca Scudder•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 8/10/2010
Find out more information on Glad Compostable bags and how they earned their sealed stamp of approval from the Biodegradable Institute of America. Learn more about opposing environmental arguments over these type of trash bags and read mixed reviews from consumers.
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Glad Companies Biodegradable Bags
Great strides in earth friendly trash bags are being made by the Glad Company. They are now making compostable bags available to consumers that are 100 percent biodegradable. They consist of renewable resource vegetable materials that are good for our environment. Traditional plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to completely decompose inside of a landfill, so it’s good to know that manufacturing companies like Glad are willing to go the extra mile to reuse and recycle materials to protect our earth.
Glad compostable bags are currently available in Canada, but can be purchased online by U.S. customers. They are sold in packs of 10 bags and usually retail somewhere between $6 to $8. This is a small price to pay for the going green effort.
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Oppositional Arguments and Mixed Reviews
There have been a lot of mixed reviews out there regarding the use of compostable trash bags. Some environmentalists say that biodegradable bags can cause more harm than good in the long run because they require a lot of energy to make and do not degrade as fast inside of landfills, possibly leaving traces of toxins behind. Normally, plastics require oxygen and sunlight to start the degrading process and regular landfills do not provide ideal conditions for this to take place. Temperature and humidity are two main factors in determining the plastics breakdown ratio.
Most manufacturers of plastic bags argue back that only minute amounts of metal go into the creation of these bags. This debate can sometimes be confusing for consumers and can raise questions about whether the use of compostable bags is really worth the effort. Some consumers have given Glad bags low ratings due to their fast capacity to break down and say that the bags leak and tear quickly. A good concept that may just need to be revised a bit.
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Certification and Regulation of Biodegradable Bags
Glad Biodegradable bags are certified as acceptable by the U.S. Composting Council and BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute), meaning they ensure the manufacturers bags as biodegradable and safe for our environment. Currently, the use of compostable bags is voluntary, but more and more cities are transitioning to mandatory stipulations for the use of certified organic bags. It is important to note that only bags that carry the BPI logo are considered 100% biodegradable. They are designed to be used in municipal compost systems in which they break down quickly and safely without leaving any plastic residue behind. Glad's Biodegradable bags can completely break down in 12–24 months in the right conditions. Bags that are not certified, but still claim to be biodegradable, usually only break down the plastic into smaller pieces.
Calculations by the Glad Company have shown that on average consumers use 3.5 trash bags per household in one week. Tiny choices such as changing to compostable bags can make a huge difference if we all take it upon ourselves to be responsible for our own waste products. The Glad Company is proving that environmental responsibility doesn’t have to end at our trash cans, so give your garbage its sexiest dress because it won’t stay on for long.