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Refuse bags

April 29, 2012

I re-use grocery bags as per my previous post. It’s an easy way to help the environment by eliminating waste.

However, I learned something new today regarding refuse bags, some are made from recycled plastic. The bags I use are 70% re-used plastic. I’m chuffed because this is a very logical area for industry to make re-using work for them. So, the next time you buy black bin liners take a look on the packaging to see if your favourite brand is made from recycled material. My favourite brand is also one of the cheapest brands so buying these bags just makes sense all round.

Another thing to consider is the size of the bags you’re using. I used to use big black bin liners for my big kitchen dustbin because it made the most sense at the time. But then I started noticing (a year into using this bin) that a lot of bag is actually wasted because it is actually about a third bigger than the bin so I never fill it to capacity because a full bin needs to be emptied regardless of whether the bag is full or not. No, I am not inclined to then move a two thirds full bag into some other spot of my kitchen and then fill it outside the bin in order to be less wasteful. This would emit all the gross smells and my dogs would probably have a field day with it. Just gross and unhygienic. So the best option was to go buy smaller bags. The ones I opted for, for reasons I don’t really know, smell like apple, fit my bin perfectly and even have handles for easy removal once the bin, and now bag, is full. No waste and just much better all round. It took me quite a while to notice the waste but once I did the solution was easy.

My gardener uses black bags to collect yard debris. I know this can be seen as wasteful but just throwing the stuff directly into my wheely bin is not entirely practical and I am sure the refuse men frown upon it because leaves inevitably end up everywhere as the bin is tipped into the garbage truck. So bags for debris it has got to be. I have lessened this practice of using new black refuse bags for garden waste by saving my 12kg dog food bags and handing these over to my gardener to use instead of the bin liners. He is not overly fond of this because the dog food bags are more rigid, are more difficult to fill and don’t fit into the wheely bins as snuggly as the other bags. But so be it, it’s a great way to re-use these large bags that would have ended up in the bin anyway. Some weeks there are no dogs food bags available and then it’s back to 70% recycled bags which makes us both happy.

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