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Are biodegradeable compost bags safe?

Should we be using the biodegradeable bags in our own compost which we would eventually use on our vegetable patch? Do the bi products harm the water course?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,791

    Biodegradable plastic?

    It's in my mind that they break up but they never break down. I don't know if this is still true. Plastic is a product of the oil industry and not something I would put on my compost heap

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,184

    Nigel Colburn ( I think ) summed it up nicely in the RHS Garden magazine. 

    "they're supposed to rot down but if always end up pulling them out of the bins which is like fishing a dead body from a canal using a boat hook"

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,758

    I think they're supposed to be made from corn starch, not plastic, and therefore ought to break down - but perhaps they need more efficient composting than a home bin provides, to break down.

    I put them in my compost bin for a year or so after we came here, together with tea bags.  I'm still removing bits of both from my veg patch ten years later.  Now I empty out my tea bags and put the "outers" in the black bin, which is where the "biodegradable" compost bags go too, after I've carried the veg rubbish out to the compost bin in them.

    Some teabags are made entirely of paper, but others have some polypropylene in, I believe.  I can't tell which is which... until they reappear in the veg beds.

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Our Council asks people not to use bio-degradable bags because they will contaminate a whole load.  Instead we use paper bags made for the purpose or line the waste food caddy with newspaper.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Most Councils put the information you need in their website.  It makes interesting reading.

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