Traditional plastic bags are an environmentally-destructive, outdated method of waste disposal, and of bagging technology in general. At Grow we want to provide you with an alternative, ecologically-efficient disposal method. The plastic in a common bag is derived from oil or natural gas, i.e. through the use of a non-renewable resource. The materials that make up a Grow Bag are from extrusion-grade bio-materials and are a compound cereal flours and biodegradable polyesters. Plastic bags glut landfills for centuries before they degrade, and their production does not support cycling of resources. Additionally, most plastic bags contain color additives and chemicals that further pollute the environment. Our bags are made from biobased material: the ingredients that go into making one of our bags are naturally sourced, and can be produced again and again (through crop growing) without harming the environment. Finally, biobased materials return to nature, sustaining the renewable material life cycle, rather than polluting the environment with plastic byproducts.
The Grow Bags are made from a new generation material called a bioplastic. Our bioplastic compound is created from non-GMO cereal flour (maize) and biodegradable polymers, and allows us to substitute fossil fuels (and their byproducts), increasing resource efficiency. More specifically, our product falls under the sub-heading of compostable plastics: Called biobased/compostable polymers, these formulations are made from biomass/plant feed stocks (in our case cereal flour) and are designed to break down in a controlled environment into a nutrient-rich humus, which can be used as natural fertilizer and to replenish depleted soil.
The answer is both yes and no. The proprietary material that makes up our bags is biodegradable; it is plant-based and produces non-toxic byproducts, such as humus (the organic compound of soil). Nevertheless, we respect, and adhere to, the FTC Green Guide regulations and California environmental marketing guidelines, stating that claims of 100% degradation or biodegradation are difficult to prove. Therefore, to adhere to California’s Green Guidelines, we are not claiming or marketing our bags as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘degradable’. Consumers should be wary of any product that claims to be 100% degradable or 100% biodegradable, because, in short, the current infrastructure of our communities (e.g. landfills, municipal dumps) does not promote/aide complete biodegradation. If our bags end up in a landfill, they can degrade in the anaerobic (sealed landfill) conditions of traditional landfills. Because The Grow Bags are made from biobased renewable resources, they degrade at the same rate as other natural/organic compounds found in the landfill, such as paper, yard waste, or food. Yet, even in this less-than-optimal setting, our bags have an environmental value that only a bioplastic product like ours can provide. For more information on this subject please visit our Federal and State Regulations page, which has links to the laws we site and adhere to.
First and foremost, our bags do not retain any of the harmful, unsustainable properties of traditional plastics. Our bags come from biobased renewable resources that are grown, rather than processed. The base ingredient of our bags is maize, which is a non-GMO cereal flour that, during its life cycle, consumes harmful CO2 while producing oxygen for the environment. In contrast, the polyethylene that goes into traditional plastic bags is manufactured, producing harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, our bags are thoroughly compostable. Our product can break down into organically viable compounds within a time period equal to the duration that an organic compound (such as food waste) would take to break down in the same environment. Composting reduces the amount of waste that gets directed to landfills. Through composting, the organic matter is transformed into a useful fertilizer, thus returning nutrients to the nutrient cycle.As a result, fewer raw materials are added to the production/nutrient cycle cutting down the energy consumption that is associated with current climate change.
The Grow Bags are designed to be composted. Once the bag has been used, we suggest that it be put into a backyard composter, or taken to a local facility that has a biosolid composter. If there is no compost facility or anaerobic digester in your area, you may be able to work with your municipality, or waste disposal company, to help develop this infrastructure. We continually promote the movement toward “Zero Waste to Landfill”, and want to inform people that biological materials such as dog waste do not need to end up in the trash bin. However, we understand that composting is not available or viable for everyone. Even when disposed of at a traditional landfill, our bags are still the better choice, because our bags will break down into an energy-rich biogas in a short amount of time, unlike plastic dog waste bags, which take centuries to break down in anaerobic digestion (meaning “without oxygen”).
Our bags have been tested and will not rip, tear, or puncture without sustained force. And yes, our bags are meant to break apart, but not before they live a long, reliable life as a product. When properly stored, our bags retain full strength for their intended use.
Due to the organic nature of the materials that make up The Grow Bags, it is recommended that the bags not be exposed to direct sun light or extreme temperatures (above 80 deg. F) for a prolonged period of time. That said, our bags perform without fail when stored in common environments such as one’s home, garage, vehicle, or place of business, and when used within 1 year of purchase date.