Biodegradable Bags Special Instructions Certified compostable bags can be used to collect compostable material and are allowed in the compost cart. Otherwise, bags that are only labeled “biodegradable” typically contain conventional plastic and need to go in the landfill cart. Not Recyclable Biodegradable bags are plastic, but possess non-plastic materials that become contaminants in the recycling stream. Put them in your garbage instead. Not Compostable Not all biodegradable objects are compostable. Research has shown that if you try to put biodegradable bags in a compost pile, they will stop breaking down before they finish degrading. To be safe, put them in your garbage. Ways to Reduce Use Reusable Bags It’s always better to reuse a bag than to use one and throw it away, whether or not the bag is biodegradable. Did You Know? Backlash Against Biodegradable Bags Since they started to become popular several years ago, there’s been a major backlash against biodegradable bags. Certain studies revealed that they may not degrade as well as advertised, and may even leave toxic chemicals behind. Biodegradable bags also require more raw materials to make and discourage reuseable or recyclable options. Unfortunately, confusion continues over how eco-friendly biodegradable bags are. Read more from The Guardian and the American Chemical Society.