If not plastic, what are the bags made from?
Our bags are derived from biopolymers and co-polymer; PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate), Corn-starch and PLA (polylactic acid). None of our products contain any conventional plastic whatsoever. To assure that we are producing the highest quality products available, we use the highest-grade blend of the three materials. This results in our bags not only decomposing in compost faster than other compostable products on the market, but, creating a stronger bag that won’t snap under weight pressures or rip with sharp corners.
(Representation of PBAT Pellets)
(Representation of PLA Pellets)
Derived from corn starch and sugar cane, put through a fermentation process to produce pellets of material that can tbe used to create strong, flexible products.
How does their strength compare with conventional plastic bags?
Because of the quality of our bags, instead of snapping under extreme weight pressure, they will simply stretch slightly, distributing the pressure over the length of the entire bag. When home tested, we found that plastic bags will give way at the bottom causing the contents to break through the bottom of the bag. Holding the same weight and shaking the bag up and down, our bags simply stretched at the handle but do not break at the bottom.
What size are eco-Bags?
Our eco-bags are the same size as our current Gosweetspot satchels yet, slightly thinner
with native floral designs. See the following size chart below.
Your bags look amazing, but what about the inks?
All our beautifully designed bags are printed with soy or water-based inks.
There is a lot of greenwashing with labelling, so what is and what isn’t compostable?
Compostable is the key word! You will find a lot of products out there that claim to be ‘100% DEGRADABLE’, and just like plastic, they are degradable – over hundreds of years…. terminology is very important here. Oxo degradable and Biodegradable products will still contain plastic. In fact, they are usually made of 70-99% plastic with only 1-30% biodegradable polymers. As you can imagine this is extremely harmful to the environment. As the polymers break down around the plastic, they leave behind harmful microplastics which get into our waterways, soil, and unfortunately, our food chain. You should look out for the term COMPOSTABLE as opposed to biodegradable, and on compostable products, make sure you’re looking for the international certifications found on our bags and on our website.
So, what do I do with the bag once it has been used?
If you have a compost pile at home, you can store all your food waste in these bags and then simply deposit them into your home compost. If you do not have a home compost, you will be able to send them to your nearest commercial composting facility. There are ~100 in NZ currently, 11 of which accept bioplastics with another 9 facilities currently reviewing this process, as well as local councils preparing to begin home organic collections. There are also helpful apps you can use to share another person’s compost, such as Sharewaste.
How long will they take to break down?
The bags are certified by all three industry certifiers; Vincotte, BPI and Dincerto, meeting American, European, International and Australian standards – including certifications for your domestic home compost. To gain these certifications, the product must break down within 90 days in commercial compost and 180 days in domestic compost conditions, including wormfarm compost. After degradation, they must leave no harmful residues behind. In fact, the only residue left behind is a soil enhancer which is returned to the earth as plant food. Although there is no higher standard, our own tests show that, in quality compost, the bags will decompose at twice the rate required.