HoldOn Compostable Bags Review: Do They Actually Work?

June 14, 2022

Confession. I’m using “plastic” baggies again and…I’M LOVING IT! Intrigued? Let me tell you everything. Keep reading to find out more about HoldOn Bags (compostable bags that biodegrade on their own!). 

a woman packs a lunch using a HoldOn brand compostable baggie

By: Lisa Fennessy

This post is generously sponsored by HoldOn Bags, a company that is TUV-certified and BPI-certified who makes heavy-duty, compostable bags that break down in weeks, not years. As always, The New Knew only works with brands who we trust are making the world a better place.

IN THIS POST:

Let’s start at the most important part. I’m not using just any ol’ plastic baggies…I wouldn’t do you (or the planet) like that. These baggies are (drum roll please), COMPOSTABLE. 

Yup. Meet HoldOn. A company who is revolutionizing single-use plastic bags and baggies. No longer will your kitchen and bathroom trash bags, sandwich baggies or gallon baggies be sitting in landfill for generations to come. In fact, they will biodegrade in just weeks.


a woman holds a large HoldOn compostable trash bag as she lifts the lid to a garbage can

Why do compostable bags matter?

I’m sure by now most of us know that single-use plastic is bad for the environment. But how bad is it really? Maybe some of these stats from the Center of Biological Diversity can put it into perspective: 

  • It takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break down in a landfill. 
  • Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.
  • Americans use an average of 365 plastic bags per person per year.
  • In 2015 about 730,000 tons of plastic bags, sacks and wraps were generated in the United States, but more than 87% of those items were never recycled, winding up in landfills and the ocean.
  • The plastic typically used in bottles, bags and food containers contains chemical additives such as endocrine disruptors, which are associated with negative health effects including cancers, birth defects and immune system suppression in humans and wildlife.
  • Chemical leachates from plastic bags impair the growth of the world’s most important microorganisms, Prochlorococcus, a marine bacterium that provides one tenth of the world’s oxygen.
  • There were 1.9 million grocery bags and other plastic bags collected in the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup.
  • In 2014, California became the first state to ban plastic bags.

So basically, the problem is not getting any better on its own. You and I can use all the reusable bags and tupperware and personal composting bins we want, but the bottom line is that as long as there are plastic bags on the shelf, there will be people buying and using them. 

To curb an issue like this, we need a hard pivot and HoldOn is stepping up with just that. It’s a solution to single-use plastic bags that doesn’t require any compromise from the user

People can still buy trash bags, line their trash bin, fill them with trash, take them out and throw them in their outdoor garbage bins and then have the city collect them on trash day. Like, you don’t have to do anything different besides use HoldOn compostable bags instead of conventional bags and you can basically add “environmental activist” to your resume.


a woman holds a stack of three HoldOn compostable bags boxes up to the camera

Wait, so what are these compostable bags made from then?

Instead of using plastics, HoldOn uses PBAT, PLA, cornstarch and calcium carbonate to make a strong and sustainable material that can be used as trash bags and food storage baggies. Here’s a closer look at the ingredients taken from their website

PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate) is a biodegradable polymer that requires less crude oil during production than plastics and breaks down quickly without emitting methane gas or creating toxic residue. 

PLA (polylactic acid) is a monomer derived from organic, renewable sources like sugar or corn. It requires less energy in production and emits less greenhouse gas in decomposition than plastic. 

Cornstarch is a substance that is ethically harvested from corn and biodegraded quickly without emitting toxic gas. 


Do HoldOn bags really biodegrade? 

Some brands use sneaky marketing tactics when it comes to the term “biodegradable.” For example, anyone can say their product is “biodegradable” because there is no marketing ethics checkpoint before a product like this gets put on the shelf. So technically a brand is not lying if they say their product is “biodegradable””—even if it may take 500 years for the item to biodegrade. 

HoldOn bags are both TUV-certified home compostable and BPI-certified, which HoldOn explains, “meets the highest standards of compostability.” And, they continue, “Our bags can be composted or thrown away as trash and will break down in a matter of weeks.” (WEEKS?!😱)

But what I like specifically is that you don’t have to do anything special like call a service to come pick these up or compost them in your own backyard (although you CAN do both)—but that you can use these exactly as regular trash bags or sandwich bags and they will biodegrade on their own in a landfill. 


a woman fills a HoldOn compostable baggie with grapes

Do biodegradable plastic bags work?l

Yup. No one wants a trash bag that breaks when you lift it out of the bin or a sandwich baggy that won’t stay zip closed. I’ve taken out multiple HoldOn bags of trash and packed my kid’s lunches 10 times over with HoldOn sandwich baggies and there has never been a rip or a tear or a leak or anything like that. 


a woman with painted fingernails opens a box of HoldOn compostable bags

What type of plastic bags does HoldOn offer? 

Right now HoldOn offers four SKUs: a compostable kitchen trash bag, a bathroom (or small bin) compostable trash bag, a compostable sandwich size baggie and a 1 gallon compostable baggie

Which is great, but I mean LFG! I want to see HoldOn doggie poop bags, HoldOn grocery store and convenience store bags, HoldOn shipping bags AND product sleeve bags, HoldOn dry cleaning bags, HoldOn shower caps…I mean how about HoldOn shrink wrap, plastic wrap and food sleeves…and the list goes on and on. Who’s with me?! 


Want to try HoldOn? Use this exclusive discount code!

Use code ORGANICGIRL for free sandwich bags with purchase of the Household Staples Kit. *Add both to your cart to trigger this gift with purchase ( $15 value). 

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

HoldOn Compostable Bags
  • Price
    (5)
  • Ingredients
    (5)
  • Effectiveness
    (5)

Summary

HoldOn Bags are a solution to single-use plastic bags that doesn’t require any compromise from the user. I found them to be strong – no leaks, rips or tears in my experience. I just wish they offered more products!

Overall
5

Pros

  • Functions just like regular plastic bags & baggies
  • TUV-certified home compostable
  • BPI-certified
  • Strong – no rips, tears or leaks
  • Good value

Cons

  • Limited product offering currently

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

3 Comments

  1. Reply

    Shelly

    Disappointed by this advertisement. Nothing breaks down in landfills because it is too compacted. Better to stop using plastic as much as possible rather than encourage more and more of a product that still won’t break down if put in the trash.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Thanks Shelly! Of course, avoiding single use products is the best option—everyone will agree to that. These plant-based baggies are a better option for people who still want to use “plastic baggies”. They break down in 3 weeks as opposed to 1,000-ish years. Not a great fit for everyone but if we could get all of the *plastic baggie users* of the world to use biobased plastics like this instead of conventional plastics, the world would be WAY BETTER OFF! – Lisa

  2. Reply

    Shelly

    Appreciate your response Lisa and I understand many people are still using single use plastic. You’re not addressing however that unless they are disposing of these bags in a composting or open dump they are not decomposing in 3 weeks because that is the problem with landfills, nothing composts, not even vegetables. Think we need to be honest about products and our current garbage system
    Best,
    Shelly

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