Zero waste or not, we are still going to produce trash. That is just the reality of our current throw-away society. Products are designed to end up in the landfill (cradle-to-grave). That being said, most of us still have garbage cans. They’re likely unavoidable. So then if it’s important to reduce our plastic bag usage, what do we do about trash bags? Is there a zero waste alternative to trash bags?
Trash bags are something we don’t typically think about when it comes to waste reduction. We kind of just ignore it because we all make trash and that trash needs to be contained somehow – that’s inevitable. Thankfully though, there are still ways to kick this disposable and recoup some costs associated with your monthly supplies bill.
Zero Waste Alternatives to Trash Bags
The simplest and most cost-effective choice would be to just go without a trash bag altogether. If you compost already then the garbage you do have should, for the most part, be dry. Once your bin is full, dump into your curbside bin. Periodically, use some natural cleaning spray to wipe out the bin to keep it nice and clean.
Keep in mind though, that a lot of municipalities require the use of a bag so this option might not be ideal for everyone. Also consider if you do make quite a bit of trash still, that loose trash could potentially find it’s way outside of a trash truck. This option is good for those who make little to no trash.
Use What You Already Have
If you have pets, then you probably buy bags of pet food. Use those empty bags as bin liners. Most of us don’t have the luxury of buying pet food package free so buying the largest bag we can is the next best option. Those bags will be discarded anyway so ensure they get used to the max by filling them up with the rest of your waste. Also, look for other container or bag type things you have around your house that would inevitably be waste. Items that cannot be recycled.
Use a Reusable Trash Bag
Yep, reusable trash bags exist! You can get them in just about any size. They are available for bathroom trash cans and kitchen trash cans. Put the reusable liner in your bin as you’d normally use a disposable. Once the bin is full, dump the waste into your curbside garbage can and wash the reusable liner. You only need to invest in the ones instead of repurchasing and replenishing disposable garbage bags.
Get Trash Bags Made with Recycled Material
I sincerely feel that biodegradable trash bags are the purest form of greenwashing. What’s the point when that trash bag full of non-biodegradable trash gets put in a closed landfill which doesn’t encourage “degrading” anyhow? I’d recommend getting trash bags made with recycled plastic instead, as it gives existing plastic a newly recycled second life.
If you already have a stash of trash bags in your home, don’t at all feel like you can’t continue to use those up. Once your stash runs out, then research which option above would be best for you.
What zero waste alternatives to trash bags do you use?