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Green and Earth Friendly Plastic Bags

Back in the old days when you went to the grocery store you did not get poly bags very often most of the time the store would give you paper sacks. Therefore, when people would get plastic bags they would wash them out so they could reuse them. When the manufactures of the plastic bags lowered the cost below the price of paper sacks, the stores started giving them out as if they were free.

As they did, the problem began. Today we have trillions of plastic bags lying in the dump that will not decompose for hundreds of years. Another problem with plastic bags is that they are made of polyethylene (oil by product). Polyethylene has some advantages and disadvantages. The good thing about it is that you can recycle it. However, not everyone has jumped on the recycle wagon so it has not made that big of a difference in the number of bags going to the dump. The bad thing about polyethylene is that as it decomposes the gases that come off are harming the planet.  

For this reason, some government officials are trying to ban the bags from use. Unfortunately, there are still times when a person needs to use polyethylene bags. The plastic bags are used in bathrooms when you cannot flush your toilet paper. Further, they are good for wrapping things up and storing them. However, there is the green alternative.    

The Plastic Bag Alternative.  

The alternative to polyethylene bags is a plastic bag that has degradable on the label. These are becoming more available in your local grocery store and discount retailers. In fact, almost every retail store carries the degradable plastic bag. If not, most food stores sell the "Green Bags" as a great alternative to the paper sack. At least you don't have to worry about the bottom falling out or the paper sack ripping as soon as you pick it up.    

The Difference between Biodegradable and Degradable.  

When degradable products encounter the elements of nature such as rain, air and the sun it causes a structural change. As microorganisms consume a material this is known as Biodegrading. A bit of difference exists but the concept is the same.   If you are looking for a plastic bag that is biodegradable, you should find an Ox-biodegradable bag. This bag is still made from oil by products but as it breaks down it does not harm the atmosphere as polyethylene does. When exposed to the sun the Ox-biodegradable bags will degrade and then bacteria will change the plastic to an organic matter (compressed carbons). These bags will do this in half the time that it takes a polyethylene bag. 

The best thing about this bag is the manufacturer does not have to change any of their machinery.   Another biodegradable bag is the Hydro-biodegradable bag. This bag is made from the starch of plants. Unfortunately, this type of bag is not as eco friendly as you might think. As the bag breaks down it will let off harmful gasses and it take more bacteria to break it down.  

Both of these bags are great for a one time use such as holding your trash until it can get to the landfill.  To reduce the number of bags you send to the landfill, use reusable bags whenever possible.  Moreover, for your one time uses but bags that are made from renewable materials.