For all your biodegradable packaging needs

Biodegradable packaging

Buy best value eco packaging, including biodegradable bags and compost bags, to do your bit for the environment.

Biodegradable packaging is...

  • Better for the environment than traditional plastic or polythene packaging
  • A term that covers a range of biodegradable products, including carrier bags, mailing bags, clear bags, bin liners, refuse sacks, wrapping, compost bags, food waste bags, dog poo bags, garment covers, loose fill and much more
  • Made from natural materials like starch or paper
  • Broken down over time by natural microorganisms, like fungi or bacteria, when placed in prolonged contact with soil, such as when placed in landfill
  • Converted into carbon dioxide, water and biomass over a period of time, which varies depending on the product in question
  • Also known as eco-friendly packaging, eco-packaging or green packaging
  • Every bit as useful as traditional polythene packaging - it really gets the job done and at less cost to the environment
  • Becoming more popular over time and therefore more competitively priced, in comparison to traditional polythene packaging

Why we use eco-friendly bags

Biodegradable bags are a convenient alternative to traditional polythene bags and cause less pollution or damage to the environment. Traditional polythene will degrade - i.e. break down into smaller and smaller molecules - over time but this process takes a lot longer than the time it takes for biodegradable materials to break down when they come into contact with microorganisms.

Therefore, biodegradable packaging takes less time to break down from the full product to nothing, which means they take up less valuable space in landfill sites, thereby creating less of a long term impact on the environment.

The argument for using eco-friendly bags is represented for many by the common 'single use' plastic carrier bag or traditional thin carrier, often handed out in shops and supermarkets across the UK.

Whilst the term 'single use' is, in itself, a misnomer and one that potentially contributes to the problem of plastic bag waste - there is, after all, no reason why a 'single use' carrier bag can't be used more than once, thus lessening its impact on the environment - the extremely high use of thin carrier bags in everyday life sums up the argument that many people make against the use of polythene packaging.

There is no denying that plastic bags create a lot of waste and, even though this represents less than 1% of household waste in the UK*, most of this waste ends up in landfill sites.

* Source: WRAP - Waste & Resources Action Programme

Whilst most carriers bags today are made from recycled polythene, the material (polymers) that these bags are made from, such as polythene and polypropene, are unable to be broken down by microorganisms and therefore take longer to break down in landfill sites than biodegradable alternatives.

So if you use a biodegradable carrier bag to do your shopping, you can console yourself with the fact that you are doing your bit for the environment and, when that bag eventually gets disposed of, it will take longer to become one with the earth than a traditional polythene alternative.

But, perhaps just as importantly, whatever bag you use - make sure you don't throw it away after using it when it's still perfectly capable of being used again.

Remember people - there is no such thing as a 'single use' carrier bag!

Degradable and biodegradable - what's the difference?

"What's the difference between a biodegradable product and a degradable product?" we hear you ask. Both degradable and biodegradable materials are both used to make packaging today, so why is biodegradable packaging supposed to be so much better to use than normal degradable packaging?

Well, let's first take a look at the definition of each word:

degradable (adjective) - Capable of being degraded. spec. Susceptible to chemical or biological degradation.

biodegradable (adjective) - Of a substance or object (esp. refuse or a potential pollutant): able to be broken down and decomposed by the action of living organisms (esp. bacteria), or their metabolic or biochemical processes

So both a degradable packaging and biodegradable packaging, when disposed of, will break down over time into smaller and smaller pieces. Sounds like there's not much a difference between the two then? Well, that's where you're wrong.

The key difference between biodegradable and degradable materials is that natural organisms and bacteria will break down a biodegradable product much faster than oxygen, moisture, heat and/or light will break down a degradable product.

So if you throw away two plastic bags - one biodegradable, the other degradable - at the same time and in similar conditions, then the biodegradable bag will break down into biomass, water and carbon dioxide significantly faster than the degradable bag.

For the biodegradable product, the biodegradation process might take just a few weeks or months, while a degradable bag will take many years to degrade fully.

Faster degradation leads to less time in landfill sites, which saves space, energy and cost, hence why biodegradable bags are the eco-friendly alternative to degradable packaging.

Where to buy biodegradable packaging

Biodegradable packaging manufacturers and suppliers include:

Biodegradable Packaging Ireland
VAT-registered customers in Ireland can save 21% VAT on all of purchases made from Biodegradable.ie - providers and stockists of a huge range of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging.
www.biodegradable.ie

Environmental Bags
Environmental Bags stock a huge range of eco-friendly packaging and biodegradable products, from eco-friendly mailing bags to biodegradable bin bags and specialist eco packaging. Order online today.
www.environmentalbags.com

Environmental Bag
Stockists of compostable, degradable and biodegradable bags, with useful information on each type to help you choose the right type of bag for you. Also manufacture and stock a wide range of other eco-friendly packaging.
www.environmentalbags.co.uk

Environmentally Friendly Bags
Environmentally Friendly Bags is the place to go for all your biodegradable packaging needs. Tells you all you need to know about a range of biodegradable polymers used to make eco-friendly packaging and how they are made.
www.environmentally-friendly-bags.co.uk

Biodegradable Bags
With loads of information on biodegradable, degradable and compostable bags and other packaging, this website is a must for anyone looking to buy the right type of eco-friendly packaging for their particular needs.
www.biodegradablebags2u.com

Recycled Bags
A very useful website for anyone hoping to find out more about recycled bags, the recycling process and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging, including biodegradable and degradable packaging.
www.recycledbags2u.co.uk

Compostable Bags
Compo Bag is a free website providing loads of information on compostable bags, including how they are made, types and features of compo bags, pros and cons of compo bags and where to buy them.
www.compobag.co.uk

Degradable Bags
A fantastic resource for anyone looking to find out more about degradable bags and other packaging. Featuring tonnes of information and news on degradable bags, along with a buying guide to degradable bags, so you can pick them up at the best discount prices.
www.discountdegradablebags.co.uk

Biodegradable Bag
A very useful website for anyone interested in biodegradable, degradable or compostable packaging. Helps you choose the right type of packaging for you and tells you where to buy any type of biodegradable bag or each eco-friendly product.
www.discountbiodegradablebags.co.uk

Biodegradable Plastic Bags
If you are looking to buy biodegradable bags or eco-friendly packaging then this is the website for you. Detailing the difference between compostable, degradable and biodegradable packaging, while telling you the best place to buy all three.
www.biodegradablebags2u.co.uk

Biodegradable Bags UK
Need information on compostable, degradable or biodegradable bags in the UK? Want to know more about the difference between each type and where to buy them at the best discount prices? Discount Biodegradable Bags is the site for you!
www.discountbiodegradablebags.com

Recycled Plastic Bags
Recycled Bags is a treasure trove of information on recycled plastic bags and other recycled packaging, the recycling process and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional plastic packaging. No other website tells you more about recycled bags.
www.recycled-bags.co.uk

Research & Resources

For more on biodegradable bags, the huge range of eco-friendly packaging available, along with details of how it is made and how it works, please visit:

PlasticBags.uk.com: The UK's number one polythene packaging directory. Advertisers can list items for free and shoppers can browse a selection of biodegradable bags websites.

Goldstork: Free 'pick-of-the web' directory featuring specialist websites and lots of information on biodegradable bags.

PackagingKnowledge: The go-to knowledge website of the polythene packaging industry, featuring loads of useful information about biodegradable bags.

Eco-friendly packaging

Biodegradable packaging - i.e. packaging made from biodegradable polymers - is sometimes known as 'eco-friendly packaging' or 'eco-packaging'.

If you take the traditional polymers (molecules) used to make traditional polythene and add particular chemicals to these polymers, you can create biodegradable polymers that can be broken down by microorganisms.

These polymers can then be used make biodegradable polythene, which can in turn be used to make biodegradable packaging, or eco-packaging.

Eco-friendly packaging is created using a range of biodegradable polymers, including starch- or bacteria-based polymers or blends, water-soluble polymers, oxo-biodegradable polymers or photodegradable polymers.

Eco-friendly packaging has been a popular alternative to traditional polythene packaging for a number of years and can be found, amongst others, in the form of carrier bags, bin liners, refuse bags, compost bags, dog poop bags and other waste bags.