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orange compostable trash bag

The Best Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags

If you take a look around, there is no doubt you will see plastic nearby.

As of April 2019, between 300-400 million tons of plastic is produced each year. Of all the plastic that is used, only 9% is recycled. Of the remaining, 12% is incinerated and 79% is placed into landfills and the environment. Seventy-nine percent!

To make matters worse, we specifically buy plastic to place our trash inside just to send it to the landfill. In the US, the average person produces 4.4 pounds of trash per day. Using 2-3 trash bags per week, that is 156 plastic trash bags per year or 12,246 bags over a lifetime. For one person’s trash! That is a lot of plastic. Imagine if you could easily eliminate all that plastic from our landfills. By using biodegradable trash bags, you can minimize your negative impact on the environment. 

Name Picture Price Best Feature Our Rating Best Price
Unni Tall Kitchen Trash Bags $ Best Compostable Bags on the market 9.8/10 See Current Price
BioBag Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags $ 48 made in the USA bags 9.7/10 See Current Price
Hippo Sak Tall Plant-Based Kitchen Trash Bags $ Made from sugar cane 9.6/10 See Current Price
That’s Rubbish Kitchen Trash Bags $ 60 count, our go-to at home 9.8/10 See Current Price
Ayotee Tall Kitchen Trash Bags $ 60-count compostable bags 8.8/10 See Current Price

What is a Compostable Trash Bag?

The Best Compostable and Biodegradable Kitchen Trash BagsBiodegradable trash bags are great alternatives to traditional plastic trash bags. When choosing an eco-friendly, biodegradable trash bag, you likely won’t even think about it not being plastic, since most generally have the same look and feel. Some biodegradable trash bags can still be made from plastics but have natural additives that allow the bags to break down completely, and are typically designed with the landfill environment in mind. On the other hand, some Biodegradable trash bags can also be fully compostable.

What’s the Difference Between Biodegradable and Compostable?

With so many different buzz words, you might be wondering, what is the difference between biodegradable and compostable.


Items that are biodegradable are generally made from things that are plant-based, animal-based, or natural mineral-based causing them to break down into primarily harmless compounds. Depending on the item, they break down at different rates, but it is generally quick. Here are 5 surprising facts about biodegradable trash bags.


In comparison, if something is compostable, it will break down completely into natural elements through biological degradation, which usually takes around 90 days, and often provides benefits back to the earth and soil.

All compostable items are biodegradable, however, not all biodegradable items are compostable.

The simple difference between these two terms is this: Biodegradable items can be anything that decomposes and breaks down into the environment, compared to compostable items which are organic matter that offer benefits such as fertilizing and improvement of soil health. It should be noted that biodegradable items are not accepted by composting facilities. 

What are the Benefits of using a Compostable Trash bag?

eco-friendly trash bagsOther than the obvious reason to consider using biodegradable trash bags – reducing unnecessary waste in our ever growing landfills – you might consider some of these other reasons when making your next trash bag purchase. Biodegradable trash bags require less energy to produce. For example, corn-based polymers use 65% less energy than those made from petroleum. Which brings up a few other points, less fossil fuel consumption, which in turn means less greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, and overall less toxic chemicals released into our environment from when the plastics do eventually break down. Another more selfish reason to consider biodegradable trash bags, some users note that some brands are stronger than the traditional plastic trash bag alternative. 

What to Consider When Purchasing Compostable Trash Bags?

When you are considering all the options for compostable trash bags there are many factors to consider.

  • Do you want fully compostable trash bags or is a biodegradable bag sufficient? Is it truly biodegradable?
  • The Biodegradable Products Institute offers certifications to companies that will validate their product claims through third-party laboratory testing.
  • The strength and durability of the bag, including if it is leak-proof, is also a major factor to take into consideration when making your purchase.
  • Depending on your use – for example, at home composting or sending the bags to a landfill – making sure your product functions in that environment is something that should be considered. 

The Best Compostable Trash Bags

Unni Tall Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags

Summary: These trash bags are compostable (and therefore biodegradable) and have a 13 gallon capacity. The roll contains 50 trash bags. 

Pros: 100% Compostable. Full biodegradability in home composting units, and acceptable for all US and EU composting facilities. Corn and plant starch-based, these are ideal for food waste or at home composters, breaking down completely in 180 days.

Cons: Some reviewers noted they begin breaking down within 24 hours of placing wet waste inside the bags, which could lead to messes in your trash can. The bags are small, depending on the shape of the trash can, may not fit all 13 gallon bins. Overall, these bags are not very durable for heavy or rough materials.


Unni Compostable and Biodegradable kitchen trash bags

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BioBag Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags

Summary: Certified non-GMO, these 13-gallon trash bags are 100% compostable and are made from the starches of plants, vegetable oils, and fully compostable polymers. Each roll contains 48 bags. 

Pros: The BioBags are star-sealed at the bottom for extra strength and durability. They are fully compostable and great for food scraps and at home composters.   

Cons: These bags break down quickly and leak after a few days, so will need to be taken out on a regular basis.  Overall, these bags are not very durable for heavy or rough materials.

Biobag Biodegradable and compostable kitchen trash bags

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Hippo Sak Tall Plant-Based Kitchen Trash Bags

Summary: USDA Certified Biobased Product, made from sugar cane, these 13-gallon bags come in a 45 count box. Made in the USA and 100% Recyclable.

Pros: 100% recyclable and made from 80% plant-based materials. These bags are very thick and durable. Their built-in handles make them easy to transport. Made from plants these bags have a lower carbon footprint than traditional plastic garbage bags. There are over 2000+ 5 star reviews of this trash bag. 

Cons: While these are eco-friendly and produced with less greenhouse gas than traditional plastic trash bags, they are not compostable, and it’s unclear if they are fully biodegradable.

hippy sak plant-based biodegradable trash bags

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That’s Rubbish Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags

Summary: These 13-gallon trash bags are waterproof and come in a 60 count box. 

Pros: Fully compostable. These bags are the only compostable drawstring bag currently available, which makes for easy closure and helps the bag stay secure in the trash can. Overall the reviews show this bag is more durable in nature than many other fully compostable bags. 

Cons: The company does not recommend these bags for use in landfills. There is plastic attached to the box that the bags come in, which might make the packaging difficult to recycle.

That's Rubbish compostable and biodegradable kitchen trash bags

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Ayotee Tall Compostable Kitchen Trash Bags

Summary: These biodegradable bags made from corn starch are 13 gallons and come in a 60 count. The company says they also fit inside a 15-gallon trash bin. 

Pros: Based on amazon product details these bags are 100% compostable and will fully break down in 6 months. 

Cons: There are some reviews of this brand where users question if these bags are truly biodegradable. 

ayotee biodegradable trash bags

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Key Takeaways

There are many eco-friendly trash bag options on the market, making it easier for you to contribute less plastic waste into our environment. Overall the fully compostable trash bag options are less durable than those that are only biodegradable (and not compostable), and may need to be changed on a daily basis. Whatever your choice might be for biodegradable trash bags, small changes add up to make a big impact on our environment.  


Works Referenced:

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