Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Have you considered going more enviormentally friendly with your packaging? Consider Biodegradable plastic bags. Biodegradable plastic bags decompose naturally in the environment. Nicroorganisms in the environment metablize and separate the structure of biodegradable plastic bags, turning them into soil, water, and other elements. The end result is packaging that is easy on the environment, because it can become part of the normal decomposition processes of the environment.

What are Biodegradable plastic bags bade from? These bag are made out of bio-plastics, which are plastics produced using renewable raw plant materials.  Most of the materials we sell that are biodegradable are made of some combination of sugar cane, beets, and other starchy plants. Regular plastic is made with petroleum based plastics and occasionally combined with other materials. With biodegradable plastic bags, you get a substance produced using renewable resources.

Is OK compost bags are the same as biodegradable?

Compostable is a subset of of biodegrable and as far as packaging is concerned these are very similar terms. Home composting refers to packaging that can be composted (biodegrade) under ambient conditions, while the more general “OK compost” may refer to industrial composting conditions, (solid waste facilities) .

Biodegradable Plastic Bags
flexible barrier packaging recyclable certified OK Compost Vincotte Biodegradable Plastic Bags
flexible barrier packaging recyclable certified OK Compost Vincotte Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Regular Plastic Bags VS. Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Regular plastics stand up pouches made of petrolume based plastics do actually biodegrade, but on a very long timetable, (up to 500 years or more). One of the numerous positive parts of biodegradable plastic bags is that they can be able to broken down by naturally occurring bacteria, which again will be beneficial to the environment.

biodegradable plastic bags

Regular Plastic Bags Stay Around…

biodegradable plastic bags decompose Compostable Plastic Bags

Biodegradable Plastic Bags Decompose

Key Differences for Food Packaging Plastics

There are two general types of food packaging plastic materials, fossil-based plastics and bio-based and biodegradable plastics.

Fossil Fuel based plastics, are derived from petroleum. Bio-based and biodegradable plastics are derived from natural materials that readily break down in the environment.

Fossil-based plastics have been around for many years and have provided tremendous benefits to the food packaging and food services industries in terms of food preservation and food shelf-life. But fossil based packaging plastics have negative environmental impacts and for this reason packaging industries, including the food-packaging and the food service industries, have been working to reduce the use of fossil-based packaging materials.

Since the 1960s, packaging industries like the food-packaging and the food service industries extensively used petroleum-based synthetic polymers, commonly termed plastics—such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), polyurethane (PUR).

These fossil-based plastics have become the most tenacious polluters of the environment worldwide. The main environmental impacts are these: 1) they leave a high carbon footprint, thereby contributing to global warming; 2) they damage the air, becoming toxic when combusted; and 3) they have detrimental effects on wildlife, waterways, and other natural spaces. In addition, they can take decades to thousands of years to decompose.

“Bio-Based Plastics”, and “biodegradable plastic” are phrases that represent two differing attributes, but the two terms, bio-based and biodegradable, are often used in conjunction with one another. When the terms are paired as modifiers with the term plastics, the phrase bio-based and biodegradable plastics denotes a composition deriving from mainly natural substances that break down over time, with the environment, the materials’ composition, and the time-frame all factoring in how quickly the break-down occurs.

Bio-based and biodegradable plastics are relatively new plastic materials to be used by the food packaging industries. As these newer bio-plastics degrade, they emit a very low amount of carbon, so they leave a very low carbon footprint. They are overall much more environmentally friendly than conventional plastics. Because these materials are much less harmful to the environment than fossil-based plastics, their use has been on the rise.

Small amounts of fossil-based plastics are still used in making some bio-based and biodegradable plastics, but the amount of  petroleum plastic used in making bio-based and biodegradable plastics continues to be reduced with the invention of new polymers. As a result, bio based and biodegradable plastics leave significantly less plastic waste to damage the environment than do fossil-based plastics, and the amount of time required to decompose is reduced to three to six months instead of decades to hundreds of years or more.

Types of bio-based and biodegradable polymers are polylactic acid (PLA), biodegradable starch-based plastics, cellophane, biodegradable and bio-based polyesters, drop-in bio-based materials, polyethyline furanoate (PEF) and others. New bio-based and biodegradable polymers are under development including PBS.

Biodegrable plastic bags can be made in most standard pouch configurations. Stand Up Pouches, and lay flat bags can be made as biodegrable plastic bags.  Even the zipper on reclosable bags can be made of bio-plastic, making the entire bag biodegradable.

Bio-Based and Biodegradable Packaging For Your Product


What are you bagging? Why type of barrier does it require? Each packaging application has a unique set of packaging attributes: shelf-life, food protection, barrier required, puncture resistance, tear resistance, etc. We offer a selection of biodegradable plastic bags material options for use with creating biodegradable packaging, and compostable packaging.

Material CodeNameEco-Friendly StyleDescriptionMinimum OrderPrintableBioBasedStand Up PouchLay Flat BagsCustom Sizing
5001BioKraftCompostable / BiodegradableKraft paper exterior with compostable heat seal barrier liner.5,000 Bags*YesYesYesYesYes
5002-ABioClear-ACompostable / BiodegradableSemi-clear compostable barrier material a good base for custom printed projects.25,000 bags*YesYesYesYesYes
5002-BBioClear-BCompostable / BiodegradableVery clear base layer compostable, but more brittle then BioClear-A. Great for product windows.50,000 bagsYesYesCallYesYes
5003NatureFlex NKR Compostable / BiodegradableCoated Transparent Cellulose, high clarity, and CFR73 compliant. Good oil and grease resistance.75,000 bagsYesYesYesYesYes
5004Mitsubishi BioPBSCompostable / BiodegradableAmbient compostable, FCN approved PBS material.100,000 bagsYesYesYesYesYes
5005Recycle-ready 4Recyclable"Code 4" Biax clear base recycleable barrier film, printable, product window compatible.25,000 bagsYesNoYesYesYes
5006Recycle-ready 5Recyclable"Code 5" Biax clear base recycable barrier film, printable, product window compatible.10,000 bagsYesNoYesYesYes

Download our free in-depth PDF report on compostable and bio-degradable plastics.

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