What are compostable bags used for?

Every year approximately 500 million to 1 trillion plastic bags are used across the world. Only a very small percentage are recycled, meaning most end up in landfill where they take many years to degrade.

The need to be environmentally conscious is crucial, and it is imperative that businesses and individuals alike adopt practices to safeguard the environment as much as possible. This is where compostable bags have revolutionised waste disposal.

Our experts here at Transpack discuss compostable bags, the various types and all you need to know to start using this type of superior eco-friendly packaging.

Compostable bags: Your questions answered

What are compostable bags?

Compostable PLA (Polylactic acid) bags decompose when they are exposed to bacteria or other living organisms. When they come into contact with the right levels of moisture, bacteria, oxygen and heat, the bags will compost, together with any items that have been placed inside them.

What are the benefits of compostable bags?

There are several benefits to using compostable bags, including:

  • They are eco-friendly and sustainable
  • They can be composted industrially or domestically with home compostable certified film
  • They break down well with moisture or when exposed to bacteria in the right conditions
  • They are made from renewable plant sources
  • They are easily accessible
  • They are food safe
  • They have a high moisture barrier
  • They are resistant to oil and grease
  • They are heat sealable

What are compostable bags made from?

Compostable bags are made from a variety of natural materials, including sustainable wood pulp, vegetable matter or corn and potato starch.

How long does it take for compostable bags to decompose?

The composting process can take weeks, months or years. The time frame depends on several factors, including the conditions, heat and moisture that the compostable bag is exposed to.

How do I store my compostable bags?

It is important to store your compostable bags correctly. We recommend storing your compostable bags away from local heat sources, out of direct sunlight, and ideally at between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius.

We also recommend that our range of bags and films are not used in environments that involve processing, treatment or storage at temperatures below -30 degrees.

Are compostable bags strong?

While compostable bags look very similar to our Polypropylene bags, the seals are not quite as strong because they are made from natural materials.

We recommend that you don’t put too much weight in them and test their suitability for your products before making a purchase. Why not try testing compostable bags by ordering a free sample? Contact Transpack to find out more.

How long can I store my compostable bag for?

The film manufacturer recommends that the film and bags are used within six months of purchase. However, some of our customers have found that they stay in perfect condition for longer.

How do you dispose of compostable bags?

Compostable bags can be disposed of on a home compost heap (certified home compostable film only) or at an industrial composting facility or put in your green garden waste but check with your local council.  Compostable bags should not be taken to recycling facilities as they will contaminate existing recycle chains.

What types of compostable bags are available?

There is a large range of compostable bags available at Transpack.

Food safe and ideal for small bakery items or confectionary, our 100x150mm compostable bags are heat sealable and are made from 100% home compostable film.

Our easy to fill, food safe compostable bags with side gussets are heat sealable and boast a 60mm gusset for easy filling. These compostable bags are ideal for storing bakery items, confectionary, candles or soaps.

Discover more about our wide range of compostable and biodegradable clear bags here.

Find out more

If you have any other queries or want to find out more about compostable bags, please get in touch. Our expert team are on hand and more than happy to answer any queries you might have about our superb range of products.

There are several ways you can get in touch with the Transpack team. Call us on 02380 869999, fax 02380 666622 or email sales@transpack.co.uk.

Postal details are available on our contacts page and you can even keep up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Author: Sally Abdy

Sally acquired Transpack in 2009 as Managing Director and joint owner, having spent 25 years running a print and design partnership where she gained extensive knowledge in developing bespoke print and packaging solutions for clients. Prior to this Sally worked in the Grain Trade. Today her focus is providing sales and comprehensive technical product advice whilst constantly researching and bringing new products to market in response to customer demand.