Celebrate #AmericaRecyclesDay with Sustainable Liners

What better day than #AmericaRecyclesDay to recommit to sustainability?recycle bin

Yet even those with the best intentions to recycle and create an environmentally friendly workplace can get confused with the options on choosing sustainable products.  Is it recyclable, biodegradable, compostable? We actually get asked this question often about trash can liners.

These options can be very confusing and then add to that bio-based versus non-bio-based options, 3rdparty certifications and many more related topics.  To lend some background support, check out this position paper from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition about the use of additives to plastics and whether they work or what environmental issues they can create. We are providing a link to the full report from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, however the last statement in their position paper: “Barring significant advancements, the SPC’s position is firmly against the use of any biodegradability additive in any petroleum-based plastic” is ultimately the message. Read the full paper

Approximately 10 years ago Nichols was introduced to trash can liners with Oxo additives and we were skeptical about the validity of such a process. There was little research at the time but we did find some being conducted in Europe which gave us a hunch that we shouldn’t venture down this path and offer to our customers any longer.  Here is a link to an article that may be easier reading.

For those of you who want to be more sustainable with your cleaning programs, Nichols offers options in trash can liners. For liners that hold materials that will be sent to landfill, and to help close the recycling loop and meet LEED standards for a Green Cleaning Program, the recommendation is to use can liners that have a minimum of 10% post-consumer recycled content. Nichols carries two options that qualify: Heritage Bag (contain 10% minimum post-consumer) and Petoskey Plastics (a low density, 70% post-consumer recycled content).

For those of you who are composting on a commercial scale, certification of the liner is important. For a compostable bag the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certification and the testing standard ASTM-6400 is what you want to look for. Nichols offers the Biotuf brand of liners by Heritage Bag that meet this criteria and have been tested in some commercial composters.

If you need more insight on advancing sustainability within your Clean and Healthy Facilities or within your operations providing Safe Shipment of Product, give us a call! And if you want to start on a more personal level, start by taking the 2017 America Recycles Day Pledge! 

Learn more about recycling in your state: