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Four Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Bags for Your Kitchen Bin

By Dan Hutton on September 4, 2018 in Other

Anthony Sharpe uses The Daily Telegraph to line his bin, but only after he’s read it cover to cover, by Leslie Mallinson

Single-use plastic bags are officially on the way out at your local supermarket (unless your supermarket of choice is Coles). So how should we line our kitchen bins now that there’ll be no left- over shopping bags? Even before the ‘bag ban’, it’s been an issue grappled with by the many people who are trying to make plastic-free living second nature.

Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of four alternatives for your kitchen rubbish…

GO NAKED
You could decide to ditch a single-use bin liner altogether. Just place your items directly in your small bin.

Pros: No need to spend hard-earned cash on liners or worry about where you’ll get your next bag/liner from.

Cons: You may need to rinse your bin more often as food waste can make things a bit messy.

Side note: Ordering a worm farm or compost bin is a great way to recycle your food scraps, reduce waste going to landfill and make the ‘naked bin’ a much cleaner, less fussy option. Get a heavily discounted bin or worm farm at www.compostrevolution.com.au.

REUSE PACKAGING
Reuse your leftover chip packet, take-away food bag or your old bread bag.

Pros: It will save you some cash and they are really easy to use as they should fit inside your small kitchen bin.

Cons: Inconsistent sizes of packaging means these items could fill up more quickly than other
bin liner options; this option also sends any recyclable packaging used as a bin liner to landfill instead of recycling.

PAPER BIN LINING
Try lining your kitchen bin with an old newspaper.

Pros: It’s plastic-free and can be a fun crafting exercise to do with children. Plus it’s really great to use if you are composting or have a worm farm already as most of your waste will be dry. It’s also easy to carry outside and tip in your garbage bin.

Cons: It’s catered to smaller (~5-litre) bins, and if you’re not recycling your food waste the paper liner can get wet and messy, meaning you will most likely need to rinse the bin out much more often.

THE ‘BIODEGRADABLE/ COMPOSTABLE’ PLASTIC BAG
These are the most common replacement for single-use plastic bags. You can buy them from super- markets, hardware stores or online.

Pros: Compostable and biodegradable bags are broken down as they are designed to with Council’s red bin waste contractor. Red bin waste is taken to the Veolia Mechanical Biological Treatment facility, an industrial composting facility that turns our waste into a compost material that is used to rehabilitate an old mine site.

Cons: It tends to be a more expensive option and you need to take them out once every three days, otherwise bags can start to disintegrate and get holes in them.

VERDICT
While there is no silver bullet solution, you could try each option for a week or two and see what works best in your home. Tell us what you think – we’d love to hear about your experiences, tips and suggestions – email secondnature@waverley.nsw.gov.au.

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