W. Ralston (Canada) Inc. is the first and only company in Canada manufacturing certified compostable plastic bags, from extrusion, to bag making to packaging.
Other compostable plastic bags are available in the Canadian market, but none are completely extruded, formed and packaged in Canada.
Unlike the garbage bags and shopping bags that are made from traditional plastics, BIOSAK® Compostable Bags are made with NovaMont's Mater-Bi® bio-plastic from renewable sources.
Mater-Bi® uses renewable resources such as non-genetically modified corn starch with biodegradable polyesters, unlike the traditional plastic bags made 100% from petroleum products such as oil and natural gas.
Most other competitive brands of compostable plastic bags based completely on petroleum based raw materials.
Traditional plastic bags are not compostable and it is for those reasons that the Region of Durham, The Region of Peel, Halton Region Hamilton, Niagara, Simcoe County and Prince Edward Island do not allow traditional plastic bag products into their compost program. Those bags do not break down into compost. They contaminate the compost with plastic residue.
There are over 3000 communities in Europe using compostable plastic bags derived from NovaMont bio-plastic resins. As in Canada, the bags are used for organic waste recycling programs.
In Canada clean, plastic free compost is sold as high $30.00 a ton. Plastic residue from traditional plastic bags makes the compost worth less.
This is where Ralston's BIOSAK® Compostable Bags become valuable to the resident, the municipality, the composter and the compost buyer. The BIOSAK bags are certified compostable and as such, they are food for the micro-organisms in the compost pile. The bags actually become compost.
The higher cost of the compostable plastic bags is due entirely to the high cost of manufacturing the resin using vegetable components. This is still a relatively small industry compared to the traditional plastic resin industry and so does not yet benefit from the economies of scale.
The offsetting financial benefit is that the bags do not devalue the compost, rather they help increase the sales value, the bags help encourage and sustain the participation of residents, and this results in a lower cost per ton for managing municipal household organic waste.
Briefly stated, BIOSAK® Compostable Bags are a lower cost solution to the municipality as a whole for municipal household organic waste management than are traditional plastic or paper bags.
BIOSAK® Compostable Bags start to biodegrade when in contact the microorganisms, bacteria or enzymes that cause organics to rot.
The microorganisms (eat) digest the bag in the same way that they digest the other organics.
The bag will not biodegrade on its own, it must be exposed to those micro-organisms before it will start to compost.