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If you are looking for an alternative to plastic bags you will be glad to know that there are several options available. Carrier bags can be manufactured from brown paper or white paper, as the traditional 'take-away paper bag. Paper bags can also be used as a display bag, manufactured with a polypropylene film front, which is safe to use in contact with food, to allow for customers to see its contents. Paper bags are economical and eco-friendly.

For packaging to be considered biodegradable it needs to be able to be broken down by the enzymes produced by living organisms. Biodegradable packaging is usually manufactured using plant or animal sources like paper, vegetable scraps and corn starch.

Biodegradable packaging can be classified as degradable, biodegradable or compostable each one of these have different properties. Degradable packaging will suffer a significant change in its chemical structure under specific environmental conditions resulting in loss of some properties. Biodegradable packaging will degrade from the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi over a period of time. Compostable packaging is capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site such that the plastic is not visually distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass.

Why Biodegradable

Regular plastics take a very long time to decompose. Rubbish and dump waste have their own associated problems and hazards as well as taking a long time to disintegrate. Litter is also visual pollution, a problem that organisations and educational programs have failed to eliminate. Not only does normal packaging degrade very slowly but anything contained within the packaging may not fully degrade until the plastic has degraded. This slow composition also represents an unnecessary waste of valuable landfill space. Biodegradable bags (for instance those made out of potato starch) accelerate the process of degradation, meaning less space is needed for packaging to decompose in less time.

Manufacturers of biodegradable packaging

Polybags - Eco packaging
Polybags now manufacture and stock a wide range of eco-friendly green packaging products to suit your needs and help towards a better environment. These include kitchen waste and refuse bags, bin liners, carrier bags and standard bags.

Environmentally friendly bags and packaging

The following are websites selling or giving information on where to buy many ranges of environmentally friendly packaging including biodegradable bags but also covering other green packaging suck as biodegradable void fill for protecting goods in transit.

Environmental Bags
Environmental bags is a website specialising in compostable, biodegradable and degradable bags. It discusses the use of green bags, what biodegradable and degradable really means and where to buy good quality environmentally-friendly bags.

Environmental Bags
Environmental Bags is a specialist supplier and manufacturer of eco-friendly packaging. With a big range of biodegradable products to suit all your eco-packaging needs, all provided straight from the manufacturer.

Environmentally Friendly Bags
For all your needs for environmentally friendly packaging, choose from a selection of top UK suppliers and manufacturers of eco-friendly packaging with low prices and a wide range of packaging products.

Eco Bag
If you need an alternative to regular polythene packaging Eco Bag is the right place to go. With lots of options available on eco-friendly bags sold at manufacturers prices to help you save money and the environment.

Enviro Bag
Enviro Bag is a wholesale supplier of high quality environmentally-friendly packaging. Provides a selection of suppliers and manufactures of green packaging. Cut the middle man and buy straight from the manufacturer.

Compost Bags

These sites give information and advice on where to buy compost bags for gardening, disposing of household waste in an eco-friendly manner or for specialist green waste disposal such as for dog waste.

Compo Bag
If you need to dispose of rubbish in compost fields and need to know more about the packaging options visit Compo Bag a specialist in compostable bags and eco-friendly packaging. Buy compo-bags direct from the manufacturer at low costs and save money.

Compost Bag
For all your compost bag needs visit Compost Bag. CompostBag is dedicated to find selected information about environmentally-friendly packaging, providing wholesale suppliers and manufacturers of cheap, high-quality compost bags.

Degradable bags and Recycled bags

Some environmentally responsible manufacturers offer the facility to re-use recycled polymer from reclaimed plastic bags to make the majority of their products (non-recycled polymer is known as virgin polymer). Another alternative to purely biodegradable bags made from natural products such as starch is the use of degradable bags where an additive helps break down a polythene bag quicker than usual. The following sites give more information on recycling polythene bags and degradable plastic bags.

Degradable Bags
Degradable Bags is a specialist in degradable packaging with great prices and discounts on environmental bags. Find degradable solutions including bin liners and refuse sacks, carrier bags and starch-based packaging.

Recycled Bags
To show your interest in helping towards the environment, recycled bags are also a good choice. Find all the information you need on types of plastic materials that can be recycled and you need to buy choose from selected suppliers of quality, low cost recycled bags.

Research & Resources

PackagingKnowledge: references and news from the flexible polythene packaging industry. Including these articles on degradable and biodegradable bags and compobags. Free packaging directory where businesses can add their bags, film and biodegradable product listings for free. Browse websites about environmentally friendly packaging and biodegradable bags.

Goldstork: a private directory of interesting, unusual and off-beat websites. Visit Goldstork environmentally friendly biodegradable bags vault.