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by Craig Pryce April 16, 2021

Many of us grew up lining our bins with plastic bags — both indoor and outdoor waste containers.

However, plastic bags are bad for the environment. Here in the UK, for example, we are now being encouraged to use reusable bags for our supermarket shops instead of single-use carrier bags.

With this in mind, we wanted to share with you some ideas of how to line your bins without using a plastic bag.

Why line your bin in the first place?

Put simply, waste and recycling can become smelly over time and can then make your bin smell.

By containing the waste in a liner, the waste doesn’t touch the bin itself and the bin should therefore remain relatively odour-free when the waste is removed.

Disposing of rubbish without plastic bags

If you’d like to make the switch from plastic bags to an eco-friendlier alternative, then take your pick from the below options.

Go without a liner

The ideal solution is to not use a liner at all and give your bin a quick wash between uses. This way, your bin stays fresh and you are wasting nothing extra just to dispose of your rubbish.

The main culprit for odour is food waste, so if you don’t already, you could start separating it out from your general waste and composting it; this will result in nutrient-rich compost to use in your garden.

Alternatively, you could keep a container in your freezer, chuck food scraps in there until bin day, and then empty it straight into your wheelie bin outside for collection.

Use newspaper

If you buy a newspaper or receive a free one through your letterbox, then they are a great solution for lining your indoor rubbish bins.

If you don’t buy or receive a newspaper usually, then don’t buy one just to line your bin!

Ask friends, family and neighbours; they may read newspapers and then just place them straight in their recycling bin.

Use paper bags

A brown paper bag being used as a bin for plastic bottles

Some stores are now offering paper bags in place of plastic bags. These are often incredibly strong so make sure you reuse them many times before you retire them.

When your paper bags are no longer useable as shopping bags, you can use them to line your internal bins and give them one last lease of life.

Swap to compostable bin bags

If you’re not ready to try out the above ideas then you might want to swap your usual plastic bags out for compostable bin liners.

Before you make a purchase, check the packaging carefully and make sure the bags are compostable and not just “green”, “eco-friendly” or “biodegradable”; some bags claim to be something they aren’t.

If you have a compost bin, you can place your compostable bags in there and they should rot down over time.

Craig Pryce
Craig Pryce


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