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Zero waste living doesn’t necessarily mean producing 0 trash. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting, or you’ve been living this lifestyle for a short time, the probabilities are that you simply still create some trash. And that’s okay! Nobody may be a perfect zero waster anyway. However, certain items don’t go hand-in-hand with a zero-waste lifestyle.
Plastic bags are inevitably one among these things. they’re the very first things to avoid once you start your zero-waste journey.
But tons of questions might appear, and one among the foremost common ones is – what are the zero waste alternatives to trash bags?
Here are the zero waste alternatives to trash bags –
The best zero waste alternative to trash bags is to use reusable trash bags for clean and dry garbage like paper and plastic. you’ll need a special bag to compost your wet trash, like garbage, or wet paper.
However, there are a few more options, in case this doesn’t suit you. Now, we are going to go through:
Garbage bags before plastic – what was used before plastic garbage bags?
What are the benefits of using zero waste alternatives to plastic trash bags?
How much CO2 will you cut if you stop using plastic trash bags?
1. Line your bin with a DIY reusable trash bag
If you have a bunch of plastic bags at home, you can repurpose them and create a DIY reusable trash bag.
You can simply watch the tutorial below, and create a custom trash bag, that will fit your needs!
The best part is that it is very simple to make it – all you need is a few plastic bags, an iron, and a sheet of baking paper:
Make a durable tote bag from plastic bags with DIY with Hometalk:
2. Use reusable bags to separate & collect your trash
You can use a bag that you already have and just reuse it. For example, I use a large Ikea bag for collecting my paper waste. The paper is clean, and I don’t even have to wash the bag between uses.
You can either use what you have or get a reusable bag that has different sections for different types of trash, like this one on Amazon.
This is an excellent solution since it will encourage you to separate your trash into three different categories: metal, paper, and plastic.
3. Line your bin with newspaper
Another useful and easy DIY idea is to make a trash bag with old newspaper pages.
It is actually quite efficient, and here is a short youtube video, that shows how to do it:
This is ideal for those who receive free community newspapers weekly. In case you don’t get newspapers, you can ask your neighbours, friends, and family, and even at your workplace or coffee shops.
Additionally, you can try to do it with other materials, if you want a water-proof version with better durability.
4. Line your bin with what you already have
Get creative! Use ANY sort of bags or materials that you already have.
For example, if you have pets, and you buy their food in huge plastic bags, you can use the empty pet food bag to collect your trash.
More examples include if you are buying protein powder, you can then reuse the bag, or if you ordered anything online, and it came in a cardboard box, you can collect your paper, or aluminium, or glass there.
Overall, you can reuse anything you already have. And by that, I mean to reuse it until it breaks, and it is no longer possible to use it.
6 Zero Waste Alternatives To Trash Bags – Almost Zero Waste
5. Go bagless
This approach is one of the most efficient and easy methods. This option is ideal for those who make very little trash. So, don’t worry if it doesn’t work for you yet.
Remember that you have to separate your trash first. You can’t mix up everything, such as food scraps, non-recyclables, etc.
In your trash bin, you have to place just dry and clean materials, like plastic packaging. Then, it’s best if you have other sections, containers, or bags for – aluminium, glass, food waste, and paper.
You can rinse the bin between uses, but that won’t be necessary, if you separate your trash, and you keep it clean (more about that later.)
6. Line your bin with a recycled plastic trash bag
If all of the ideas below are a little bit too much for you, don’t worry, there is one more thing you can do.
Look for plastic bags that are made with recycled plastic. I don’t talk about “biodegradable” plastics, but RECYCLED plastic. The more we use recycled things, even plastic, the less we will need virgin and new materials.
You can search for recycled plastic bags in your area or purchase some online. Just take in mind that the higher the recycled content, the better.
A few extra tips
Separate your trash
You have to separate your trash into recyclables and non-recyclables. The quite annoying part about recycling is that everywhere around the world; there are different rules and regulations.
Some places have a better recycling structure, and they offer bins for different trash, sometimes there are even bins for your food waste.
Your job is to do your best and to understand better what the situation is in your local area.
In general, it is usually best if you have different sections or bags for – paper, plastic, aluminum/metal, and glass.
Try to reuse things, such as glass jars, and paper.
Composting is a fantastic way to deal with food scraps. It does require some preparation and learning, but it’s worth the time!
It will reduce your general waste exponentially, especially if you eat a lot of fruits and veggies.