small brown and black curly haired dog who is looking up at a person holding a holdon compostable trash bag in a modern kitchen

Compostable Trash & Kitchen Bags You Must Try: HoldOn Review

Hold on, wait a minute! It can take hundreds to thousands of years for plastic to break down in a landfill? I can’t be the only one that thinks that is insane! 

And, you know what’s even worse? 

Often, plastic doesn’t completely break down — it ends up in our environment as microplastics — I am sure you’ve heard of those micro-guys making their way into our water and even the air! According to National Geographic, micro-plastics have been found in marine organisms, seafood, and drinking water. It also can bind with other harmful chemicals — creating even more problems for the environment. 

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you know I have tried to ditch as much plastic as possible, from toothpaste tubes to dog poop bags and everything in between. As I watch the world literally burn, I feel compelled to do whatever I can, and I’m not the only one that feels that way.

Enter, HoldOn bags!

They were stopped dead in their tracks because 100 billion plastic bags end up in the landfill annually, making them say, “Hold on a second!?” So, they set out to create plant-based, non-toxic, compostable trash, sandwich, and gallon bags to do something about it. 

I’ve looked at countless biodegradable and compostable bags that tout that the product will break down cleanly, but often, in tiny print, it will say, “commercial composting only.” Maybe that’s ok, but I would feel a lot better if I could just do it at home. HoldOn promises that their bags will break down in your home compost (but also in the landfill and industrial composts) in a matter of weeks, not centuries, and over the last month, I set out to see if that was indeed the case. 

Some of the links in this article maybe affiliate links. At no cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

HoldOn Compostable Kitchen Bag Review

What are HoldOn’s Compostable Bags Made Of?

HoldOn uses PBAT (Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate), PLC (Polylactic Acid), and corn starch to create their bags. PBAT is a biodegradable polymer that requires less oil to create, and PLC is a monomer that often comes from sugar or corn; and I think you already know what corn starch is! These three ingredients create bags that are not only durable, but also safe for the environment. 

But, if you don’t believe me that they are safe, you should also check out their certifications. 

All of HoldOn’s compostable bags are BPI and TUV certified, which are the highest certifications for composability. The BPI certification means the bags have been rigorously tested in a commercial composting facility and do not leave a synthetic residue. The TUV certification is the most challenging to achieve and means that the bags have passed stringent tests for at-home composting.

Often with compostable bags that you’ll find online, they will either have no certifications (it isn’t regulated) or just the BPI certification.

So now that you have some background on the HoldOn bag lineup let’s look at what they have to offer and how they performed. 

HoldOn Compostable Product Lineup

Currently, HoldOn offers a kitchen lineup of products that includes compostable tall garbage bags, small garbage bags, zip seal sandwich bags, and zip seal gallon bags. 

All of the bags can be purchased individually or as a set. If you decide that you want to try out the products, make sure that you use the code VEGGIESABROAD for a free pack of sandwich bags with a purchase of their household staples set.

Compostable & Biodegradable Garbage Bags

The first thing that we were excited to try was the garbage bags. In full transparency, we were already using compostable trash bags from another company, but they weren’t TUV certified, so I was eager to find out if HoldOn’s bags would be able to get the dirty job done. 

I noticed first that the bags feel really durable, which I didn’t expect for something that should break down in a matter of weeks. So, the first week we used them, I was a bit nervous shoveling cat litter and everything else under the sun into them.

When trash day came, we pulled the bags out with one eye open, half expecting a giant mess, but there was no mess! The bags were still in excellent shape and strong enough to carry a week’s worth of household trash plus a whole other bag filled with cat litter — keep in mind we have three cats, and they are messy, so that wasn’t a small nor light bag. 

We also changed the cat litter, which cat owners reading this know that some bags can’t stand up to that amount of weight; the HoldOn trash bags had no issues!

As for the small trash bags, we used them in a couple of little trash cans (we usually don’t use a liner, but for this purpose, we decided to use them). You can also use them in a compost bucket, or the other genius idea I had is for cleaning up after your cat (or maybe even dogs too). When we have a pet sitter, we have a stash of old plastic bags (which breaks my heart) that they use to clean the litter box; these small compostable trash bags would be so perfect for that! You could probably use them as dog poop bags, too — I love it when you can find multiple uses for things. 

compostable holdon trash bag being held by a person while a small brown and black curly haired dog looks up in a kitchen

Compostable & Biodegradable Sandwich & Gallon Bags

I can’t tell you the last time we had sandwich bags in our home! We kicked those to the curb in favor of reusable bags years ago. If I end up with little plastic bags, I always try to wash them and use them until they fall apart — it drives Matt bananas, but we have to protect Mother Nature, right!? So, I was super excited to test these out.

We used the bags in various ways — they went in Matt’s lunch, stored cookies and produce, and even traveled with me. Honestly, I didn’t notice any difference between these and regular ole evil plastic bags; they kept food fresh, didn’t break down, and could easily be rinsed out and used again.

To test their durability, I took one of the gallon bags, filled it with water, and let it sit in the sink overnight. It was still waiting for me in the morning, with no leaks!

Now the big challenge would be our home compost. To be fair, we don’t have a fancy composter; Matt made one out of old recycling bins — figured it should get the job done and find a new way to use something that would get trashed. It honestly works surprisingly well, but I feel I should say that because results could vary if you have a fancy bin.

So, for composting, HoldOn suggests that you cut the zipper seal off before placing it in your compost. Well, I didn’t read that until after I buried it in our compost pile! I had planned to let it just sit in there for two weeks, but Matt forgot and turned the compost sooner when I was out of town — I thought my experiment was ruined, but he said he couldn’t find it!

When I got home, about 10 days after putting it in the compost, I went digging for it. It took me a bit to find it because it had already broken down by about 50% (see photo) — hooray!

One note, if you don’t have a home compost, no worries! The bags break down regardless of where they end up, even in a landfill or industrial compost.

Where to Buy HoldOn Compostable Bags

Hopefully, after reading this, you’re inspired to kick those old plastic trash and kitchen bags to the curb! All of their products are only available for purchase online; they also have additional information about the company and helpful FAQs. 

Check out their full compostable product lineup:

Tall Kitchen Garbage Bags

Small Kitchen Garbage Bag

Zip-Seal Sandwich Bags

Zip-Seal Gallon Bags

You can purchase the products individually or as a set (saves you a little money)! If you purchase their household staple set, don’t forget to use my code VEGGIESABROAD to get a free package of sandwich bags!

Looking for Other Plastic-Free & Eco-Friendly Products?

If you’re interested in swapping out more items around your home or in your beauty cabinet, be sure to check out these two articles:

Zero-Waste & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Cleancult Review
12 Everyday Zero-Waste & Eco-Friendly Products

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