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Why are compostable bags so expensive?

Posted by Jack on December 27, 2022
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    Compostable bags are one of the most exciting developments in environmental protection in recent years. They're better for our planet and safer for animals, but they're also more expensive to produce than plastic bags—which means you may have to shell out a little bit more money at the grocery store. Here's why compostable bags cost so much, and how we can all help make them cheaper:

    Most compostable bags are made from a material called PLA.

    PLA is a type of plastic made from plants, not petroleum. It's technically not biodegradable, since it takes years to break down in landfills. However, it can be composted along with food scraps and other organic materials if you're lucky enough to have access to that kind of facility near you (or if you want to buy your own bin).

    If you want something more affordable than PLA bags but still want them to be compostable--and thus better for the environment than regular plastic bags--you may want to consider buying reusable cloth produce bags. These are available at most grocery stores these days and cost just a few dollars each time they need replacing (which isn't very often).

    PLA is usually made from plants, such as corn or sugarcane.

    PLA is usually made from plants, such as corn or sugarcane. It's biodegradable and fully compostable--it can be broken down into carbon dioxide and water by microorganisms in a compost pile.

    PLA is also a good alternative to plastic because it's 100% renewable (meaning it comes from renewable resources) and has no harmful chemical additives like the ones that are often found in conventional plastics. Compostable bags made with PLA will break down more quickly than other types of bags when exposed to heat, sunlight and time.

    The only other material that's used to make PLA is fossil fuels.

    PLA is a plant-based plastic. It's made from corn, sugarcane and other crops that are grown in a controlled, indoor environment. While it's technically biodegradable and compostable, the process for making PLA isn't as easy as recycling your old yogurt container or paper bag.

    The only other material that's used to make PLA is fossil fuels--which means you're still buying into an unsustainable system when you purchase these bags.

    There's not very much demand for PLA because it's expensive to produce.

    There's not very much demand for PLA because it's expensive to produce.

    PLA is made from plants and fossil fuels, which makes it an expensive material to use compared to traditional plastic that can be derived from oil or coal. In fact, PLA manufacturing is so expensive that it has a hard time competing with traditional petroleum-based plastics on price alone--even though its environmental benefits are clear.

    The good news is that production of this type of compostable bag has been growing steadily over the past decade thanks in part to companies like NatureWorks (the leading producer of lactic acid), but it hasn't grown fast enough yet to meet demand across all industries at once (like food packaging).

    Compostable bags have to compete with cheap plastic bags.

    Compostable bags are more expensive than plastic bags, and this is because they are made from more materials and will last longer. Compostable bags cost more to produce as well. They also cost more because they're made from a renewable resource (cornstarch).

    Compostable bags cost more because of the manufacturing process and the materials that go into them.

    Compostable bags are more expensive than plastic because they're made from plants, which aren't as easy to grow or produce.

    PLA is made from fossil fuels, which are limited in supply and becoming more expensive as they become scarcer. It's also more difficult to produce PLA than plastic because it requires high temperatures and pressures that can be difficult for manufacturers to achieve with current equipment.

    Consumers should expect compostable bags to be more expensive than plastic ones, but not too much more expensive.

    The reasoning behind the price difference is two-fold:

    • PLA is made from plants, which means it has to be sourced, transported and processed. This takes more time and effort than using fossil fuels.
    • The manufacturing process for compostable bags involves more steps than regular plastic bags. To create a bag that will break down in the presence of microorganisms (and not just sit around forever), manufacturers have to use more expensive materials for their products' individual components--from adhesives on inside seams to coatings on outer layers.


    In conclusion, compostable bags are a good alternative to plastic bags. They're more expensive than regular plastic bags, but they have fewer environmental impacts when they're disposed of in landfills or composted. It's important that consumers understand why their compostable bag costs more than their typical plastic one so that they can make informed decisions about whether or not it's worth spending extra money on this type of product!


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