Alternative to black bags

Hi. We’re just about to do our annual clear up of leaves. We usually store them in black bin liners to rot down into leaf mould but I wonder if are there alternatives as I have read that black plastic, in particular, is really bad for the environment. Will an unused wheelie bin work ? Presumably sealing the leaves in black plastic aids the rotting process but we are trying to cut back on plastic. We have a compost heap too - I guess it will just take longer.  Any ideas please ?
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,674
    You can get loose-woven compostable hessian sacks for making leafmold. Lots of sources online 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DJA2DJA2 Posts: 7
    Thanks. That’s a great idea. :-)
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,205
    We use old compost bags.   New garden to us so always plenty about as I buy it when there's a BOGOF and use it as soil conditioner in the veggie plot and when planting out elsewhere while we wait for our own compost heaps to get going.

    We also buy green bin bags made from sugar cane for the indoor rubbish bins and then empty their contents out to the appropriate wheelie bin in the garage.   They get used again and again till pranged and then go in the recycling bin.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,745
    I think leaves are best left out to the elements, you can make a chicken wire cage in the corner of your garden. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,205
    edited 28 November
    Too hot and dry here @Lyn and a lot of them are walnut leaves.  Need a lot of moisture to break those down as OH discovered at the weekend - under gardener not following instructions.   Last year's lot have hardly broken down at all but the ones I watered and sealed the year before are lovely.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,745
    @Obelixx. Have I sent your blue aconitum seeds yet, just had a thought that I’ve forgotten.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,205
    Yes Lyn.  Received, delivery confirmed and sown.  No show yet tho.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DJA2DJA2 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the suggestions. I don’t buy much compost but the chicken layers pellets I buy comes in compost size large plastic bags. I could definitively recycle those to store the leaves. I will google the hessian sacks and sugar cane bags too. Thank you 
  • Sam 37Sam 37 Posts: 497
    DJA2 said:
    Hi. We’re just about to do our annual clear up of leaves. We usually store them in black bin liners to rot down into leaf mould but I wonder if are there alternatives as I have read that black plastic, in particular, is really bad for the environment. Will an unused wheelie bin work ? Presumably sealing the leaves in black plastic aids the rotting process but we are trying to cut back on plastic. We have a compost heap too - I guess it will just take longer.  Any ideas please ?
    I follow my mother's method.  I have a compost bin specially for leaves.  Put in a thick layer of leaves and cover with garden soil, and so on.  Eventually, it is ready for use.

    It, certainly, works for me.
  • DJA2DJA2 Posts: 7
    Thanks - your Mum’s method is definitely a good one.  I used to have a dedicated wire cage for leaves but found my dear children and lovely husband added all sorts of other stuff to it when they were ‘helping’ me in the garden !! :-))
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