What about bin liners?
We’ve only been using bin liners for a few decades – before, people had other ways of keeping their bins clean. Using plastic bags to line bins has become an easy, but environmentally unfriendly, alternative to wrapping rubbish or washing bins. While there is no one simple replacement for bin liners, we can be most environmentally friendly by reducing waste, especially by putting food and organic waste in a compost bin. We can also reuse other types of plastic bags (such as bread bags) to wrap rubbish, and minimise wrapping of waste. If you use bin liners, we recommend that you choose biodegradable bags that will degrade fully in landfill, such as those made from cornstarch.
A new Zero Waste SA initiative – where 10 councils are piloting the kerbside collection of kitchen organic waste – will eliminate the proportion of residual waste that may require lining of bins with plastic bags or bin liners.
Research shows the purchase of bin liners will not increase significantly, compared with the reduction of plastic shopping bags. Between 2005 and 2006, the number of shopping bags used in Australia dropped by 560 million, but the number of bin liners sold increased by 38 million. (Hyder Consulting (2008), Plastic retail carry bag use – 2006-2007 consumption)