Biodegradable bags are more popular because they are more sustainable and people want to be more environmentally friendly. You should know the different types of biodegradable bags as you explore your options.

These are some of the common ingredients in biodegradable bags:

  • Starch-based polymers (at minimum 90% starch from wheat or potatoes;
  • Polyesters made from hydrocarbons
  • Oxo-biodegradable Polymers
  • Photo degradable polymers that can be broken down by UV light
  • Water-soluble polymers – can dissolve in water at a specific temperature.

Organic Cotton Biodegradable Totes

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Biobased or starch-based:

These bags can be made from a variety of starches such as corn, potatoes, or wheat. These bags can be biodegraded or broken down in as little as 180 days, depending on environmental conditions. These bags are made without any fossil fuels and degrade very quickly. These bags are not strong if they're filled with heavy materials. They also have a short shelf life. 

Photodegradable, Oxodegradable:

The plastic is made by blending an additive that acts as a UV/oxidative catalyst. It can take from months to years for this plastic to be disposed of in a landfill. Biodegradation occurs in two stages. 

First, the plastic is converted to oxygen, and then it breaks down into molecular fragments. These are biodegraded by microorganisms into carbon dioxide, water, and other compounds. These bags are more economical than other biodegradable bags and they have a longer shelf-life. 

They can also be recycled. These bags are similar to regular plastic bags but biodegrade after being disposed of. Degradation refers to the process by which larger molecules are reduced into smaller pieces that can be processed by microorganisms. This happens when plastic is exposed to heat, sunlight (UV rays), and air.

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