An Ohio product designer is putting compostable plastics to use in lawn and garden bags, looking to replace the paper bags required in many communities.
PD Worx LLC first introduced its dsolv mesh bags, made with polylactic acid, in a few communities in Ohio in 2010. It is rolling them out to a wider audience now.
The basic idea behind the bag, said Paul Kolada, principal and CEO of Columbus-based PD Worx, is to use a material that breaks down as easily in compost piles as the leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste it holds.
This is cradle-to-cradle [recycling] philosophy that looks at the entire life cycle, Kolada said in an interview at the International Home + Housewares Show, held March 6-8 in Chicago.
Kolada, who is also principal of industrial design group Priority Designs, first developed the bags as a project with schools near Columbus to create new products.
Working with a familiar product the paper bags required in many communities for yard waste PD Worx looked at materials as well as improved ways to fill, store and transport waste.
A starter kit comes with eight mesh bags, a polyester collapsible sleeve to hold the bag open during filling and handles to hold the bags for transport to the curb.
The company spent the first six months launching the bags by just introducing them to communities and waste haulers to ensure they met all requirements for yard waste, Kolada said. The firm also had to sell retailers on the idea that the mesh bags require little shelf space compared with paper bags, and are lighter and easier to transport.
The mesh bags also make it easier for haulers to spot non-compostable items and keep their waste stream clean, he said.