What’s the difference between DEGRADABLE, BIODEGRADABLE, and COMPOSTABLE BAGS?…and which bin should I place them in?
Degradable bags are made from plastic with other chemicals added (including heavy metals). This causes the plastic to break down and disintegrate over time when exposed to sunlight and heat. If degradable bags are released into our environment they become quite problematic as they break down into hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic. Animals can consume the smaller pieces of plastic more readily than they would if the bags were still whole. It is also much more difficult to remove hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic from the environment than it is to remove a single bag.
Which Bin? Degradable bags should only be placed into your General Waste/Landfill bin.
Like degradable bags, biodegradable are often still plastic bags that have microorganisms added to break down the plastic into lots of tiny pieces of plastic.
Biodegradable bags are not compostable. Unless they specifically state ‘100% compostable’ they will contaminate your green lidded food and garden organics/FOGO bin.
Black dog poo bags are a common form of biodegradable bag. They commonly state ‘oxo degradable‘ and may also claim to be ‘eco friendly‘ but this is not true unless they are compostable.
Which bin? Biodegradable bags should be placed into your General Waste/Landfill bin.
Compostable bags are made of natural plant starch, and do not produce any toxic material. Compostable bags break down readily in a composting system through microbial activity to form compost. In order to be classified as compostable they must meet the Australian Standard for compostability AS4736 and will have this symbol.
Which bin? Compostable bags can be used to line your kitchen caddy for collection of food scraps and then placed into your green bin.
For further clarification check out the Jeffries information below available from