• Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags in 2020 (BioBag, ProGreen, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags in 2020 (BioBag, ProGreen, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags in 2020 (BioBag, ProGreen, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags in 2020 (BioBag, ProGreen, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags in 2020 (BioBag, ProGreen, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags in 2020 (BioBag, ProGreen, and More)

The health of the environment is more important now than ever, and alternatives to plastic are popping up everywhere. In short, we’re all better off using less wherever we can. Many have taken to switching to biodegradable and compostable trash bags, including several city- and state-wide regulations on organic trash. But with all this hype, there’s also naturally a ton of misleading information and marketing out there.

In this guide, we’ll cut through the rubbish and break down exactly what you should look for when choosing a biodegradable or compostable trash bag. At the end, if you’re still stuck, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites for you to start your search, including our all-star Bag to Nature Compostable Kitchen Bags! Read to the end to check out our tip about how to stop your garbage from smelling, as well.

This article's specialists

Erica Baron
  • Last updated: 09-17-2020
  • 29,349 views
Table of Contents

Compare the Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags

Image
1
Bag to Nature  13-Gallon Compostable Tall Kitchen Bags 1

Bag to Nature

2
JTSC Products  13-Gallon Compostable Trash Bags 1

JTSC Products

3
ProGreen  2.6-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags 1

ProGreen

4
Stout by Envision  30-Gallon Compostable Bags 1

Stout by Envision

5
Second Nature Bags  3-Gallon Kitchen Trash Bags 1

Second Nature Bags

6
Primode  13-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags 1

Primode

7
Biobag  3-Gallon Kitchen Food Scraps Bags 1

Biobag

8
Green Earth  Compostable 13-Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags 1

Green Earth

9
UNNI 2.6-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags 1

UNNI

10
Eco-Smartbags 13-Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags 1

Eco-Smartbags

Name

13-Gallon Compostable Tall Kitchen Bags

13-Gallon Compostable Trash Bags

2.6-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags

30-Gallon Compostable Bags

3-Gallon Kitchen Trash Bags

13-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags

3-Gallon Kitchen Food Scraps Bags

Compostable 13-Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags

2.6-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags

13-Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags

Features

Our Best Pick! Strong Bags Built for Industrial Composting

Thick and Hefty With Instructions on Maintaining the Integrity of the Bag

Super Convenient Lifespan and Dispenser

Extra Large Bags That Help Employ the Blind

Thick and Long-Lived, Even With Food Waste Inside

Strong, Tall Compostable Bag for Your 13-Gallon Trash Can

Small Bag for Food Waste and Super Fast Breakdown

GMO-Free, Thicker-Than-Average Bags

Internationally Certified & Quickly Biodegradable

Sturdy and Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Price$29.36$34.99$28.95$32.08$16.95$16.99$19.92$16.95$11.95$34.66
CompostableYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Main materialsPlant starchesPlant starchCorn starchSugar cane, plant starchesCorn and vegetable starchPlant starches, plant oils, compostable polymersPlant starchesPlant starchRecycled plastic, biodegradable additive
Thickness1.0 mil.1.0 mil.0.71 mil.1.1 mil.Not provided0.87 mil.0.64 mil.1.0 mil.0.71 mil.Not provided
Other features
Link

Top 10 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bags

Here’s a list of our ten favorites to help you get started! They were judged based on their material, thickness, compostability, and more.


※These rankings were decided based on user reviews and popular rank lists from Amazon gathered on July 1st.

1

Bag to Nature 13-Gallon Compostable Tall Kitchen Bags

50 count

$29.36

CompostableYes
Main materialsPlant starches
Thickness1.0 mil.
Other features
2

JTSC Products 13-Gallon Compostable Trash Bags

100 count

$34.99

CompostableYes
Main materialsPlant starch
Thickness1.0 mil.
Other features
3

ProGreen 2.6-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags

300 count

$28.95

CompostableYes
Main materialsCorn starch
Thickness0.71 mil.
Other features
4

Stout by Envision 30-Gallon Compostable Bags

48 count

$32.08

CompostableYes
Main materials
Thickness1.1 mil.
Other features
5

Second Nature Bags 3-Gallon Kitchen Trash Bags

100 count

$16.95

CompostableYes
Main materialsSugar cane, plant starches
ThicknessNot provided
Other features
6

Primode 13-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags

50 count

$16.99

CompostableYes
Main materialsCorn and vegetable starch
Thickness0.87 mil.
Other features
7

Biobag 3-Gallon Kitchen Food Scraps Bags

100 count

$19.92

CompostableYes
Main materialsPlant starches, plant oils, compostable polymers
Thickness0.64 mil.
Other features
8

Green Earth Compostable 13-Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags

50 count

$16.95

CompostableYes
Main materialsPlant starches
Thickness1.0 mil.
Other features
9

UNNI2.6-Gallon 100% Compostable Bags

100 count

$11.95

CompostableYes
Main materialsPlant starch
Thickness0.71 mil.
Other features
10

Eco-Smartbags13-Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags

6 pack of 24 bags

$34.66

CompostableNo
Main materialsRecycled plastic, biodegradable additive
ThicknessNot provided
Other features

How to Choose a Biodegradable and Compostable Trash Bag – Buying Guide

Here, we'll be introducing the following three important points to check when you choose a biodegreable and compostable trash bag.

Points to Consider:

  1. Biodegradable Versus Compostable Trash Bags
  2. For Extra-Large, Extra-Heavy Loads, Look for 1-mil Thickness
  3. Drawstrings and Handles are Normally Not Included

1. Get Your Priorities Straight: Biodegradable Versus Compostable Trash Bags

Biodegradable and compostable might sound the same, but the difference lies in official certifications, which may matter to you or your community.

Merely Biodegradable Bags are Sometimes Cheaper but Don’t Decompose Easily

Merely Biodegradable Bags are Sometimes Cheaper but Don’t Decompose Easily
Bags that are labeled “biodegradable” are often made from special plastics that decompose—under the right circumstances. However, those circumstances require light and oxygen, two things they won’t have under a pile of trash in a landfill. It’s also a lot harder to recycle a bag made out of biodegradable plastic as it needs to be sorted in a certain way.

That being said, biodegradable bags hold together really well and are often cheaper than compostable bags (see below for more on those), which can make them more wallet-friendly if you’re willing to sacrifice some eco-friendliness.

Some biodegradable bags may even be fully compostable and just don’t carry the certification due to manufacturing differences. Just note that if your city or municipality requires compostable bags, they cannot be merely biodegradable.

Compostable Bags Break Down Quickly and are Best if Potato-Based

Compostable Bags Break Down Quickly and are Best if Potato-Based
If you’re looking for something that will actually break down over (less) time, look for bags that are “compostable.” Unlike biodegradable bags, these bags are regulated and will decompose under basically any conditions. Keep an eye out specifically for those that are BPI and ASTM D6400 certified. Not only are these bags proven to break down, but your city composter will also be sure to accept them.

Don't forget that because these bags are compostable, they’re going to start breaking down pretty quickly if you have any wet, organic matter in them. So you’ll need to change your bag fairly often or try to keep food scraps in a separate container.

Most biodegradable, compostable trash bags are made from either potato starch or corn starch. While both will break down equally well, potato starch bags are just a bit more environmentally friendly. Potatoes require less water and take up 40% less land to produce the same amounts. Looking at the bigger picture, potatoes are the way to go.

2. For Extra-Large, Extra-Heavy Loads, Look for 1-mil Thickness

2. For Extra-Large, Extra-Heavy Loads, Look for 1-mil Thickness
You might think that an eco-friendly trash bag made from potato starch couldn’t be as strong as a normal plastic bag, but you’d be surprised.
While smaller loads may be okay in any ol' bag, for your super heavy, kinda bulky loads, look for bags that have a 1 mil (one one-thousandth of an inch) or more thickness. At this thickness, you can almost guarantee that they’ll hold in basically anything the average household might be throwing away.

3. Drawstrings and Handles are Normally Not Included

3. Drawstrings and Handles are Normally Not Included
Most biodegradable and compostable trash bags don’t have ties and handles in the way that many traditional trash bags do. Handles and drawstrings are normally made with heftier, more reinforced plastic than the bag itself, so it’s harder for manufacturers to produce these in line with the rest of the bag.
So be aware that unless the box explicitly states that the bags do have drawstrings, you’ll likely be left to tie the corners together. But considering the fact that these bags generally need to be changed more frequently than normal plastic bags, that might not be much of an issue.

How to Keep Your Garbage Bag from Smelling Like Garbage

How to Keep Your Garbage Bag from Smelling Like Garbage
If you’re getting a biodegradable or compostable bag, you might have to give up some fancy features, like odor elimination. However, you can add it back in using the following tips and tracks.
Add an odor absorber like baking soda, cat litter, or even dryer sheets to your trash can before putting the bag in. Mask scents with citrus peels or a few drops of essential oil. Be sure to drain off any excess moisture before tossing anything. Remember to regularly wash your trash can as part of your cleaning routine.

Looking to Greenify Your Cleaning Routine?

Looking to Greenify Your Cleaning Routine?

We tip our hats to anyone ready to make a change by throwing out the familiar chemicals and perfumes and starting afresh. In fact, we want to do more than whip off our hats—we want to help. So we’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly articles below for your perusal.

Summary

So there you have it—a quick guide to kicking plastic trash bags to the curb and finding a better bag that’ll make your garbage feel a little less nasty. Hopefully, you’ve managed to find the right biodegradable or compostable trash bag for you and your home and are well on your way to helping the Earth, a little bit at a time.

Author: Jacqueline Oshiro

Compostable Goods That Our Experts Love

If you're composting trash bags, you'll need to make sure the trash is compostable too. These wraps recommended by one of our experts, Erica Baron, are the all-natural, non-plastic solution that's eco-friendly even as waste!

Specialist's
mybest

Bee’s WrapBeeswax Food Wraps

3 pieces

$18.00

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