Dog Poop Bags: A Threat To The Environment

Tags: biodegradable dog poop bags, compostable poop bags, dog poop plastic bags environment

Poop Bags and the Environment


In an attempt to stay clear of plastic, there’s no perfect solution for the disposal of dog poop bags. The way we dispose of dog poop makes no sense: collecting organic, recyclable waste and enclosing it in plastic bags only adds to an already bursting-at-the-seams landfill problem.


Picking up dog poop is better than not picking it up. Festering dog poo left to rot at the edge of the path or park, or flicked into the bushes creates a toxic mess that can carry diseases like campylobacter, tapeworm, hookworm, roundworm, giardia and E.coli, infecting the local ecosystem and releasing pathogens into the water system. 


But what is the green alternative to placing dog poop in a plastic bag?


Dumping raw poop into your green bin is not the answer, but you can use biodegradable poop bags. Yes, they’re more expensive but for the sake of the environment, it’s worth it. Unfortunately, most dog parks haven’t caught up with this idea yet and don’t instal green bins outside the gates, only the regular blue and black bins. Fat lot of good they are!


Flushing dog poop is not a good idea, considering the number of dogs in any given city, the local sewage system would be inundated with turds! 


Composting your dog waste is a risky venture because of the potential pathogens dog poop carries. If you do decide to compost your dog waste, make sure you use biodegradable poop bags to collect your dog waste. Also, look for compost bins designed specifically for pet waste. These will come with instructions and additives to properly break down this organic material without causing the release of pathogens. Authentic compostable dog poop bags should take about three months to break down. Dog poop compost should only used for  non-edible vegetation and keep it well away from waterways or water mains. 


Buyer beware: Not all biodegradable or compostable dog poop bags are true to their claims. The FTC has been looking into fraudulent claims by manufacturers of so-called biodegradable poop bags and have found hundreds of offenders. The problem lies in how the poop bag is disposed of after it’s done its job. If the poop bag finds it way into a landfill, it will not break down quick enough to become compostable due to compression and lack of oxygen. But it will still release offensive methane gas into the environment. 


Buy compostable dog poop bags from reputable manufacturers that comply to strict industry standards and ensure that the poop bags they produce live up to their claims of breaking down within a year. Here is a list of biodegradable poop bags you can trust: use vegetable-sourced dog poop bags containing organic materials like corn, vegetable oils, and plant starches. 


BioBag Pet Waste Bags need the perfect condition to break down their plant-based resin poop bags. 


Flush Puppies Doodie Bags are not so organic as they are made from water-soluble Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) and are recommended for industrial composting sites only.


BioDOGradable bags can be used in your own doggie composter as they contain biodegradable material made of cereal flour and polymers. Whether they break down completely, though, the company guarantee. 


For more information, check the FTC website for their Green Guidelines. 


If you’ve gone as far as to spend good money on compostable or biodegradable poop bags, make sure you dispose of them in the green bin and not the regular garbage. Dog poop does not belong in a landfill.



Photo credit: Stuart Richards - Return of Molly Dog by Poo Bin


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