Sac de papier ou sac de plastique compostable… lequel choisir pour la collecte?

Paper Bag or Compostable Plastic Bag… Which One to Choose for the pick-up?

Biodegradable, compostable, reusable or paper… It may be hard to distinguish between the various bags intended for composting and to buy the right product, when you don’t know the properties of each one. In fact, there is a wide range of different types of bags on the market and some packaging has misleading information that may confuse you. For example, a number of manufacturers use terms that prompt us to believe that their products are biodegradable or compostable, when that is not quite the case.

In this article, to help you better understand what’s what, we will get to the bottom of the various properties of the different categories of bags and we will explain why only paper bags may be used for the organic waste collection. By using only paper bags, you will be helping to optimize compost quality!

Can we use biodegradable bags?

To begin with, it is important to note that the word “biodegradable” does not have the same meaning as “compostable”. Although biodegradable bags break up into plastic particles, they don’t entirely decompose, and therefore, they contaminate the compost, adversely affecting its quality.

Other terms are used to describe biodegradable bags and indicate that they are environment-friendly, such as “oxobiodegradable”, “100% biodegradable” or “environmentally safe”. Unfortunately, none of these is good enough to be able to be used for the organic waste pick-up, as degradable bags are not compostable. As for oxobiodegradable bags, they are merely plastic bags containing an additive so that they degrade when exposed to UV rays or heat.

And compostable bags?

As for compostable bags, they are made up of plant-based plastic that decomposes. However, since they are difficult to distinguish from ordinary plastic bags, they are not accepted in the brown bin. Another disadvantage: Some composting sites in Québec are not authorized to process compostable bags and may therefore reject waste materials sent to them in these bags.

With paper, there are no doubts!

Paper bags are accepted by composting sites. So that’s the preferred choice for collecting your organic waste. However, there is no need to buy paper bags. Here are examples of paper articles that you can use to collect your organic waste (while saving money!):

  • Newspapers
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper grocery bags
  • Potato bags
  • Paper towels
  • Paper gift bags (non-glossy, non-coated, non-glazed). But make sure you first cut off the parts that are made out of other materials.


A simple, cost-free process

In short, collecting organic waste is very easy to do and there is no need to buy bags to take part in this pick-up. Paper bags, newspapers or other paper wrapping (as long as it isn’t glossy, coated or glazed) that you have at home are all perfectly suitable.

We thank you for taking part in the organic waste pick-up and making the right choices to ensure that composting is as efficient as possible!