Some changes towards a plastic-free house are easier to make than others. But trading out the plastic bin liner? Tricky.
It’s that balance between removing pesky plastics from the house, but still wanting to keep the home hygienic and free from nasty smells. And when people suggest scrapping plastic bin liners for good, they offer great advice on how to do it. Like laying newspaper at the bottom of the bin to minimise leaks and spills.
Clever, but not always practical.
Especially when you are more likely to get your news on your phone these days. It can sometimes be weeks without an old newspaper in the house.
But there are three other ways you can make the switch, and we’ve got them right here for you.
Alternative To Plastic Bin Bags:
1. Bare Bins
This will depend on what’s going into your bin, but you could consider letting your bin go nude.
Just chuck everything in without a liner and wash out as needed.
This might require some re-education for the household.
- Rules like ‘if it’s wet – forget it’ can keep things a little tidier.
- Freezing food waste until bin collection night.
- Starting a compost bin.
- Discovering new items that are actually recyclable.
If nothing else, it’s going to make everything think a little bit more about what’s going into the bin. Every plastic bin liner that’s not used, means there’s one less sitting in landfill.
It can often mean loose items actually break down faster in landfill too, without that plastic barrier.
2. Less food waste going in
You’ve done this before. Gone to the supermarket with the best intentions. Picturing the delicious healthy meals and fruit platters you’ll make instead of reaching for the junk food. Then a week later, the fruit is mush, the vegetables have lost their crunch and the whole lot goes into the bin.
Imagine a different ending.
You do something unusual this time.
And actually eat them!
Often your biggest enemy to home cooked meals isn’t a lack of willpower, it’s lack of time. Products like Veggie Saver can buy you up to 2 extra weeks to make use of that delicious produce. Fruit stays fresher and veggies stay crunchy for longer! So now when you find the time to get into the kitchen – your vegetables are ready to go straight into the pan. Not the bin. Find 7 other ways of reducing food waste in your kitchen here!
3. Compostable bin liners
A lot of new bin liners claim to be eco-friendly, but it can pay to read the fine print. Not all are created equal.
There are products sourced from recycled materials – which is great – but they’re still made from plastic. They still sit in landfill for many years and still pose a potential hazard to our ecosystems and wildlife.
Others claim to be ‘environmentally friendly’. Then when you take a moment to really look at the label, you see that sometimes that claim is a load of garbage.
Luckily though, there’s now a range of companies that are making bin liners from materials that are sustainably sourced AND biodegradable. Things you can check for are:
- Free from GMO and other nasties.
- The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability in both manufacture and distribution.
- The time it takes for the product to break down. Some take weeks, others months, some take a year or 2. Find the one that suits your needs and budget.
Silver Linings over Plastic ones
Saying goodbye to plastic bin liners can be one of the biggest hurdles for a plastic-free household. It can seem intimidating and complicated. And the last thing you want is to add extra work and mess into your kitchen. But it might not be as scary as you think. It could be time to give it a try.