Most people now appreciate the importance of using eco-friendly shopping bags, but few understand how broad that term really is. One of the most important factors in determining eco-friendliness is biodegradability, which tells us how well a certain material can be broken down by microorganisms. Most natural materials are biodegradable, and it’s these materials you should be using for your shopping bags.
Here are just four reasons why biodegradability is so important.
- Less Need for Non-Renewable Resources
One thing people often fail to understand about non-biodegradable products is that they generally use a lot of non-renewable resources. For example, plastic bags require a relatively large amount of oil to produce considering the amount of use people get from them, and oil is a finite resource. In contrast, most biodegradable materials are made using renewable and sustainable resources.
- Less Pollution
Shopping bags made from biodegradable materials such as paper or plant fibres can be broken down by non-toxic components – in fact, many will break down naturally like any other organic material when left out in the elements. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for non-biodegradable materials. For those materials to be broken down, artificial chemicals need to be used, which leads to higher levels of pollution.
- Healthy Composting
Plenty of the biodegradable materials used for shopping bags can be composted right at home. People can even use them in their gardens to help improve water and nutrient retention. Recycling a material without leaving your own property is obviously good for the environment, and doing so reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Less of a Refuse Problem
Perhaps most importantly, biodegradable materials don’t create such a refuse problem. While materials that cannot be quickly broken down through natural processes can end up polluting the environment for decades to come, biodegradable bags are never going to spent centuries rotting in a landfill.