As the ban on single-use plastics continues to build momentum around Australia, many retailers are still seeking viable replacements. South Australia has just begun trialing new compostable bags as an alternative to single-use plastic bags. Yep compostable, like your compost heap.

Two South Australian supermarkets are currently participating in the trial but what exactly are the bags made of? Produced in Japan, this particular variety is 100 percent organic matter, with most of that being corn starch. Ideally, these bags should be reused for the organic waste that goes into your normal compost heap but even if they do end up somewhere else they will break down fairly quickly when exposed to the elements. For reference, Planet Ark fact sheet describes compostable bags as those that biodegrade within six months if composted.

At this stage, reusing a natural fiber bag (think jute or hemp) for your groceries is the best option but it’s great to see other eco-friendly ideas being trialed as single-use plastics are slowly phased out. Read more about the SA compostable bag trial at ABC News.

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