The Confusion and Clarification of Being Green in Compostable Trash Bags

ALL COMPOSTABLE BAGS REQUIRE A COMPOSTING FACILITY,
OTHERWISE THEY WILL BE ANOTHER "PIECE OF TRASH" IN A LANDFILL.


DEFINITIONS

Biodegradable

Material which degrades from the action of naturally occurring microorganisms
such as bacteria, fungi, and algae. There is no timeframe associated with biodegradable.

Compostable

Material that undergoes biodegradation at a rate consistent with other known compostable materials,
the highest form of Biodegradation.

Oxodegradable

converts in the sun (photodegrades) or with humidity into smaller particles,
leaving polymer (plastic) residuals.

Note:
• Compostable and biodegradable leave only CO2, water, biomass and inorganic substances.

• Biodegradable is an unqualified claim, Oxo-degradable breaks down but not completely,
   whereas Compostable is third party certified to biodegrade completely
    (based upon the ASTM D6400 standard).


CONFUSION

› Many different companies claim to have “biodegradable” trash bags available.

› Unfortunately many are simply regular trash bags with an biodegradable additive. These bags are called oxo-degradable.

› Some bags may be biodegradable but are not tested to validate their claims, therefore leaving their status as a question in the minds of the consumer and the compost facility that would need to process them.

› Only bags meeting the ASTM D6400 as certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute legitimately prove their biodegradability.



BPI Logo

This is the only seal that certifies proven compostability. A company cannot use this seal unless certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and the United States Compost Council (USCC)

CLARIFICATION

Certified Compostable

Meets ASTM 6400 standard which requires the product to be 90% decomposed in 180 days.

Biodegradable

There are no standards for plastics. Any and all claims are “legally” unqualified.

Oxodegradable

Contains heavy metals salt cobalt, etc. Plastic breaks down into a microscopic level, leaving a polymer residue,
will degrade only in the sun (photodegrades) or with humidity (water), not biodegradable. There are no standards,
in the U.S.A. European standards will not accept oxodegradable.