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Hey plastic bag monster: What about trash bags?

Leah Ingram has a great post up on her blog today discussing the merits of biodegradable trash bags. Do they work? Are they worth it? A quick check of tells me they cost around 50 cents a bag, compared with about 13 cents a bag or less for traditional Glad bags — and a quick check of my inner cheapskate tells me paying any amount of money for trash bags is ridiculous. My roommate and I have been re-using plastic shopping bags for our kitchen trash, and it seems to work just fine. We have to take them out every other day or so because they’re so much smaller, but that just encourages us to make less garbage — and it keeps the kitchen from getting smelly. And it seems like a nice rationale for my laziness — whenever I forget my reusable shopping bag, I can tell myself that at least I’ll be using the plastic bags for trash. Is that so wrong? Will my plastic trash bags still end up in the ocean? Perhaps on Sunday we can get an expert to weigh in. But what do you guys think?
And here’s another blog post from Tiny Choices about using biodegradable bags. Anyone else have any experience with them?

Comments read comments(10)
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Stillman Brown

posted June 30, 2008 at 10:38 am

The plastic bag monster likes conventional trash bags. His children are made out of them.
We didn’t really address this, did we? Hmm.

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posted June 30, 2008 at 11:20 am

It’s a tough one! I’ll use the remaining plastic bags in my house as trash bags, but once I run out, should I buy a box of trash bags when I can get perfectly good shopping bags for free? I think it’ll have to be a mix — when I do get have to take a plastic bag from a store, I’ll recycle it as a trash bag, but for the most part I’m using cloth.

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posted July 2, 2008 at 3:41 pm

my house has not used a trash bag in the 9 months that we have lived there.
you really dont need to use any bag at all as long as you are composting and making minimal trash and eating all of your leftovers.
no more trash bags!! less plastic and pollution, less personal spending on stupid shit, less consumerism!

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posted July 2, 2008 at 10:23 pm

That’s what I’ve been doing, personally. I don’t own cloth bags, but I reuse the plastic ones over and over, and I use some of them as trash bags, so I don’t have to buy them (and create more trash because you’d normally throw the plastic bags into the garbage bag you just paid for).
As for biodegradable, that sounds OK to me, if they actually do. I would like some confirmation on that, though. I’ve read somewhere food doesn’t biodegrade properly in dumps because it’s usually not exposed to air, which it needs to do that. Otherwise, it’s not any good.

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Leah Ingram

posted July 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Thanks for highlighting my post on biodegradable plastic bags. Since I don’t follow my trash to the landfill, I can’t say for sure if they work 100% or not.
I’d like to know how you can get to a point of not need trash bags at all. I am composting and recycling and whatnot, but I still have garbage to throw out. Please let me know how I can take myself off the trash grid!

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