Why buy garbage bags?

Why buy garbage bags ? 

In a world where we seek to reduce our ecological footprint, is it really necessary to buy garbage bags? The answer is simple: no! There are easy and greener options.

A garbage bag can easily be replaced. But be careful, not by just anything. Some people might want to buy oxo-biodegradable bags, or so-called “ecological” bags, but that would be a false good idea, says Cindy Trottier, founder of the Zero Waste Circuit. In reality, these bags are made from plastic materials and their only advantage is that they decompose more quickly than regular plastic bags.

By decomposing without oxygen in a landfill site, they generate methane, a greenhouse gas very harmful to the environment, but also leachate, a concentrated and very toxic garbage juice which can contaminate surrounding soil and water. 

And “compostable” bags, made from plant materials, are not the solution either. As Aurore Courtieux-Boinot, specialist in circular economy and waste management, says, these bags have a greater ecological footprint in production.

Use what-we-would-throw 

According to Aurore Courtieux-Boinot, to replace traditional trash bags, “the only good option is to use bags that are already intended for the trash.” For example, she mentions bags of crisps, plastic pouches for frozen products, coffee bags, etc.

She is also a fan of reuse, Cindy Trottier uses, for example, bags of cereal or bags of crisps for her small bathroom trash can. And to replace her garbage bags, she gives a second life to bags of food or litter for animals such as cats, dogs or rodents. “Basically, as in small format, these bags are perfect because they are disposable only and not recyclable,” she says.

Finally, with municipal compost and recovery, and if you have habits that tend towards zero waste, it is possible to no longer need garbage bags at all. If we no longer throw organic matter in the trash, the ultimate waste that should end up there is often plastic and it can therefore go directly into the trash container without being messy.

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