piping bags, also known as pastry bags, are triangular or cone-shaped bags used for decorating pastries such as cakes and cookies.
You twist the bag to force an ingredient out of the cone through the top end of the bag.
Depending on the decorative effect you want, you can always modify the tip or even switch between tips.
What’s the Recyclability of Piping Bags?
For environmentally-conscious people like me, disposable piping bags might be the best choice.
These bags are made of 100% degradable material (EPI plastic).
EPI is a technologically derived additive that hastens the breakdown of plastics.
Other piping bags are made from strong canvas, which enhances their durability and makes them reusable.
However, the disposable ones are the most common type of piping bags.
Do You Throw Away Piping Bags?
What do you do with used piping bags? Do you discard or do you reuse them? I know these are weird questions to ask but believe it or not, they are questions most people ask so often.
See, there’s no standard rule on what you should do with disposables such as plastic piping bags.
While some people discard them after use, others prefer cleaning and reusing them for as long as they want.
For me, I re-use to save on costs and of course, to help our environment.
Reusing disposable bags is a great idea and if it will help you reduce your spending, please ensure you make it a habit.
Of course, it’s incredibly easy to throw away your single-use pastry bags after use but think about the extent to which you hurt the earth’s footprint every time you dump out plastics.
Can You Reuse Disposable Piping Bags?
If you’re wondering whether to reuse your disposable pastry bag or not, keep in mind that disposing of them or reusing them are both great ideas.
As the name suggests, disposable piping bags are supposed to be used only once and that’s it.
Reusable pastry bags are better than disposable ones as they can withstand hot ingredients and stiff dough.
Although the former often need more cleanup after use, they last longer than the former.
If you’re working with disposable pastry bags, there’s no doubt that you get into trouble every time you try to reuse them.
It’s a little difficult to reuse disposable bags especially if they have big holes in them.
When I’m lucky enough to get a pastry bag made of stronger material, I reuse it at least five times before it starts getting small holes in it.
How to Dispose of Piping Bags (Step by Step)
Most people don’t recycle used disposable piping bags as they’re strained with contaminants such as oils and edible fats.
When you’re done using reusable pastry bags, clean them properly and dry them using a towel. This is however not the case with disposable bags.
These are thrown away, and this makes cleanup a bit easier. If you care about the environment, try reusing. Even though it’s difficult, it’s still worth it.
If you’re using environmentally sound plastic or cloth bags, you can throw them away with the rest of your other garbage.
Another great alternative is to send your old pastry bags to a recycling center and have them recycled for you.
Reusable or Disposable Piping Bags?
To be fair enough, both reusable and disposable pastry bags are great options. I don’t know about you but if I were to make a choice, I’d go with the latter. This is why:
- Disposable piping bags are “disposable”. They bring convenience.
- Most of them are transparent. You can easily tell what ingredient color is inside.
- You get to use a new one each time, especially if you discard them after use.
- They’re relatively affordable.
The major problem with these bags is their flimsy plastic; they lack the strength to withstand stiff ingredients such as dough.
Besides, they are expensive in the end because you have to discard them after use and especially when you don’t want to reuse them.
On the other hand, reusable piping bags offer more flexibility. You can use them for a longer time because of their highly durable fabric.
Plus, you can still wash them after use.
However, their expensive pricing is a turnoff to some people.
Save for their lack of strength, I don’t see any other major flaw about disposable piping bags.
If you care about the environment, try sourcing for those that are made of biodegradable plastic material.
The best thing about these bags is that they certainly save you cleaning time because they are thrown away after use, and you need a new one every time.
Besides, they are inexpensive and therefore affordable for all.
In terms of recyclability, disposable piping bags are badly off, unless you choose biodegradable ones.