Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tales from the Bucket Bag: This Bag Will Self-Destruct In...

So, that’d be a No on the compostable plastics for by-the-bag bokashi finishing. Or at least, a Not Suited for my particular situation. Other people may have different needs, so here’s the brief:

The compostable bags most accessible around here (all the same brand pictured above) do not respond well to getting wet--so you can’t store them where they may get rained on, and even dew is a concern. Integrity retained less than three weeks if exposed to weather, regardless of contents. For me, that’s not really long enough. And of course, if the bokashi comes into contact with the bag...well, even the retailers say they’re not recommended for use with high-nitrogen, high-moisture compostables:

We strongly recommend that wet grass clippings be left on the lawn, where the clippings will quickly biodegrade and add nutrient value to your lawn. Placing wet grass clippings in either a paper bag or a BioBag can stimulate bag decomposition within three or four days.

I’m not so sure about the fragility of heavy paper leaf and lawn bags, but these writers are if anything being conservative with their estimates when it comes to their own product. In some case, the bags just melt away into nothing; rather cool, but not of any particular use.

But if the goal isn’t to have a discrete (and discreet) bokashi-and-leaf unit, these can be incorporated into other landfill-alternative scenarios. Bentley’s had nice results feeding filled bags to his worms, and while BSFL don’t seem inclined to chew through plastic no matter its source-material, once it breaks down enough to allow access, grubs will quickly dispose of the whole thing.


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