In 2015 we started using degradable plastic bags to pack our leaves (salad, herbs, chard, kale etc..) instead of standard plastic. These break down over time so as not to litter the environment, but are still manufactured from oil, and are not recyclable (unlike the standard plastic bags that they replaced). We wanted to use compostable bags, but none were available at the time. Technology has now caught up with demand, and we are pleased to have found some compostable bags ideally suited to our use. These are made from potato starch and "other biologically sourced polymers" such as wood pulp and sugar-cane waste. They will compost in three to six months in a home compost heap (quicker than that in a hot composting system). Our leaves are now being sold in these bags. They are substantially more expensive than the degradable bags that they replaced (which were substantially more expensive than standard plastic), so we have had to increase the cost of our leaves by 10p per bag in the farm shop.
Information in our farm shop.
Our new compostable bags in action on our farm shop shelves.
The bags can still be re-used before composting, but they can't be recycled. The only other packaging that we use for our own veg is brown paper bags. We support the "Plastic-Free Penzance" and "Plastic-Free St. Just" movements, and you can find out more about them on their facebook sites.