Even with the best intentions, it can be hard to make the switch to biodegradable bin bags. Luckily, this guide is here to show you how easy it can be to make the swap to biodegradable and compostable liners for kitchen bins, compost caddies and even 50 L bags for wheelie bins!
Whether you need bags for household waste, food recycling caddy or home composting, we share tips on how to find the most eco-friendly options available online. To make things even easier, we've ranked the 10 best biodegradable bin bags in the UK on Amazon and Waitrose.
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Many of the biodegradable bin bags on the market are advertised for use in a food waste caddy (for recycling food materials), garden refuse or home composting. This is due to the fact that these are the most popular purposes people use them for.
However, that doesn't mean they can't be used in the kitchen, bathroom or study bin. In fact, you can use them anywhere in your home or office. That said, it's a good idea to check the thickness of the material and the number of litres the bags can hold to make sure they will be fit for purpose.
There's nothing more annoying than investing in bin bags to find that they aren't the right fit, that's why choosing the right size for your bin is imperative! For a food waste caddy or small waste paper basket, bags that can hold around 4 to 20 litres will be the best option, whereas 25-50 litres are ideal for medium or large-sized bins.
Looking for greener ways to get rid of kitchen waste? Here are the 10 best compost bins in the UK!
If you're looking for bin bags that are fully biodegradable and compostable, those made from corn starch are your best bet. Starch is used to create bioplastics, such as biodegradable synthetic polymers and PSM (plastarch material) which is the ideal material for eco-friendly bin bags.
If you are going to use the bin bags in your compost, it's a good idea to look for EN-13432 certification. This tests for biodegradability, disintegration and ecotoxicity in soil, giving assurance of a good-quality eco-friendly bin bag.
It's equally important to check how your bin bags will come packaged as some can come in non-recyclable plastic, undoing your good intentions. Try to select bin liners that come in minimal recyclable cardboard or paper packaging for a totally clear conscience!
There isn't really a standardised number of bags per pack, which is why the number of bags you'll get can vary wildly from one brand to another. When comparing the number of bags, think about how many you actually need. For bagging up occasional garden refuse, you may only need a few bags, whereas you may get through many more for a kitchen bin.
Some bulk packs contain 100 bags or more, which can be useful if you're going to get through a lot. Just bear in mind that if you bulk buy compostable bags and don't use them within a certain amount of time, they might begin to disintegrate in storage.
Good news for pet owners, you can now get biodegradable and compostable dog poo bags too!
Some of us swear by bags that have ties! Drawstring ties and those with folding flaps are the most common options as they allow for more space inside the bag and make it easier to open, close and move rubbish bags, preventing spillage and mess.
It will often say on the packaging whether your biodegradable bin bags have ties or not, although this isn't always the case. Luckily, we have done our research so you don't have to. Underneath each one, we have listed which of our favourite products include ties.
Top Tip: a kitchen bin with dual compartments offers an easy solution for separating your recycling from general waste!
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Extra Thick Compostable Kitchen Bin Bags
33% Thicker Than Other Biodegradable Bin Bags
Biodegradable and Compostable Bin Liners
Convenient 50 L Bin Bags Made From Non-toxic Plant Materials
Biodegradable Bin Liners
Fully Compostable Bags Packaged in a Recyclable Carton
Green Maker Environmental Protection
Compostable Bin Liners
100% Compostable Bin Bags for Kitchen and Household Waste
30007 IW2 Compostable Bags
Extra Strong Food Waste Caddy Liners
Biodegradable Bin Bags
Multi-Purpose En-13432 Certified Bio Bin Bags
Small Biodegradable Bin Bags
Transparent Bin Bags Made From Plant-Based Materials
Recycled Bin Liners
Bestselling Recycled Bin Bags for Heavy Duty Jobs
BioLiner Compostable Bags
100% Biodegradable and Compostable
Compostable Garden Refuse Sacks
Strong Biodegradable Bags for Garden Waste and More
Practical for use as caddy liners or for recycling, these extra thick compostable bin bags are perfect for a range of purposes. Whether you do home composting, or want a reliable bin bag for your kitchen bin, these bags can do it all!
Being up to 33% thicker than many other brands, they are convenient to use, preventing leakage and tears. Made from corn starch, they're totally biodegradable and compostable too, making them an environmentally kind choice and our favourite pick.
There's plenty to love about these biodegradable and compostable bin liners from Eco Wave. With each pack containing 40 bags, they are excellent value for money and come in a convenient recyclable box too.
Certified as suitable for home composting, they can be used for multiple purposes. At 50 litres they will fit regular/large kitchen bins, making for a strong and reliable alternative to traditional plastic bin bags. Best of all, they're made from non-toxic, raw plant materials, meaning the carbon footprint for manufacturing these bags is 75% lower than plastics.
These biodegradable bin liners by Greener Walker are made for home composting. Coming in 6, 10 and 30-litre sizes, they'll be just as fit for use in a food waste caddy, as a small or large household bin.
Sturdy and thick, they are made from corn starch, vegetable oils and PBATs, which are a type of fully compostable polymers. Fully biodegradable and compostable, you can rest assured that they meet the requirements of European composting programs.
Sometimes it can be a little hard to figure out whether bio bin bags are meant for household waste, composting or garden waste. Luckily, these liners are suitable for use all around the house.
You can use these bin bags as a kitchen, bathroom or study bin liners. They are also suitable for home composting, and safe for use at industrial plants too. Made from 100% plant-based material and coming in recyclable cardboard packaging, these bags really tick all the boxes!
Joseph Joseph are masters of useful kitchenware design and their compostable bags don't disappoint. Although specifically created to fit their own Intelligent Waste food-waste caddy, they fit well in other non-Joseph Joseph caddies too.
Coming in white, these caddy bags look neat and tidy and are impressively strong and sturdy with a double-seam construction and drawstring tie. They come in a wide range of other sizes, but unfortunately, the IW2 liners are the only ones that are compostable in the range.
These Biodegradable Bin Bags from Aievrgard are designed for food waste caddies and home composting, but can be used for any type of waste. Made from PSM material, they have passed the EN-13432 certification and carry the European standard seedling mark.
Non-toxic and odourless, these bin bags are translucent green and are much stronger than they look! They are available in three sizes too, which are ideal for a whole range of household uses.
Many eco-friendly bin liners come in green, so its great to see some clear biodegradable bags. Looks aside, it's useful to be able to easily identify what type of waste is inside each bag if you have general rubbish, recycling and compost to sort.
Made from PSM starch-based materials, these bags are 100% biodegradable and compostable and have no smell (unlike plastic bin bags). Surprisingly strong, durable and leakproof, you'll be able to tackle plenty of jobs with these.
These Recycled Bin Liners from Relevo aren't biodegradable. However, recycled bags are still better for the planet than ordinary bin liners. A benefit of using these bags is that they are thicker and stronger than bin bags made from plant-based materials, making them better suited to heavy-duty jobs.
Made from 100% recycled plastic, they're Blue Angel, PEFC and FSC certified and can be recycled. Not as angelic as biodegradable bags, but an improvement on standard bags.
Providing good value for money, you get 25 bags for just over a tenner. 100% biodegradable and compostable, these 50-litre bag bags are suitable for various purposes and are approved for food waste recycling in most councils within the UK.
Made from corn starch, the bags may look a bit thin in comparison to regular bin bags, but they are strong enough to hold many different kinds of household and garden waste. They do, however, arrive in non-recyclable plastic packaging, which is rather disappointing.
Designed to be used for garden waste, these Compostable Garden Refuse Sacks by Waitrose are strong, resistant to ripping and effectively seal any odours inside.
These bags can also be used as kitchen liners for tall bins, especially as their good quality material prevents mess and leakage. However, these bags would be a bit more convenient to use if they had some kind of tie, and with only six bags to a roll, they're not the best value if you are buying them regularly.
Buying biodegradable bin bags can be a little complicated, but it needn't be once you're aware of what all of the terms actually mean. "Biodegradable" means that the material the bin bags are made from should biodegrade into non-harmful matter within around three months to one year.
Many biodegradable bin bags are labelled as compostable too, which means they will break down into non-toxic material. However, it doesn't necessarily mean they will do so in your home compost heap. Some compostable bin liners need to be in a specific, controlled environment, such as an industrial plant facility, to break down. So it's important to make sure to choose ones suitable for home composting.
Technically all plastic bin bags are degradable, as they're allowed to be described this way whether they take 15 or a thousand years! Even when the degradation process has happened, degradable bags don't just disappear — they will instead remain in the form of trace microplastics, which is not an eco-friendly option for our seas, waterways and planet in general.
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