Compostable mailers decompose into CO2 and humus, a soil-like substance that can be used as a fertilizer, thanks to the action of bacteria. This is beneficial because the plastic isn't only breaking up into small pieces; it's also reverting to something more akin to the soil. However, this process necessitates exact parameters — temperature, oxygen concentration, and moisture content – which are difficult to achieve in your home compost heap.
In landfills, what happens to plastic bags?
Plastic bags frequently wind up in landfills or in streams and oceans when they are discarded. Plastics can take many years to disintegrate in a landfill. When they do, they break down into very microparticles that contaminate our soil and groundwater.
Is it beneficial to the environment to use compostable bags?
Compostable bags decompose far more slowly in landfills than they would in your home composting system, and they decompose without oxygen, releasing methane, a much more damaging greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In marine conditions, biodegradable bags do not degrade at all.
In a landfill, what happens to compostable items?
Products that are compostable end up in landfills. To biodegrade, compostable products must be exposed to moisture, oxygen, and bacteria in a landfill like any other green trash. If it is not exposed to these circumstances, it will remain in the landfill for an indefinite period.
However, it is debatable what happens to biodegradable items in landfills. It is indicated that PLA (polylactic acid), a plastic-like biodegradable substance manufactured from corn, breaks down anaerobically in landfills, releasing methane. This greenhouse gas is 30 times more robust than carbon dioxide.
However, some studies found that PLA does not degrade in landfills and does not cause significant greenhouse gas emissions. What is apparent is that a biodegradable item, such as straw, will not be composted if it ends up in the garbage.
Compostable Bags Have a Lot of Advantages:
The introduction of the bag tax, which has resulted in a reduction in the amount of plastic bags discarded unlawfully, is one of the best things the Irish government has done. However, billions of plastic bags are still eaten each year, owing to their low cost and ease of availability, even though they are harmful to the environment. There are numerous alternatives to using plastic bags these days, and we're here to inform you about one of them: compostable or biodegradable bags!
The following are some of the advantages:
- Biodegradable bags decompose, allowing the plastic to be absorbed by the earth.
- Bags that can be composted are considerably better for the environment.
- It is significantly easier to recycle when you use biodegradable bags.
- Using biodegradable materials reduces landfill waste and harmful gas emissions.
Only a commercial composting facility can compost compostable mailers. This won't happen in landfills, either. On the other hand, compostable plastic bags decompose only in large-scale composting facilities, not in home compost bins, and they can't be recycled with regular plastic bags because they'll pollute the waste stream.