If you’re a dog owner, picking up poop on the daily is part of the gig. What kinds of bags do you use to pick up after your dog goes to the bathroom? What’s the difference? If they’re all just meant to scoop up poop, why should we care about which bags we use? Surely, they’re all one in the same, right? Well, Mother Nature would undoubtedly beg to differ. Let’s take a look at all the different types of poop bags available on the market.
Traditional plastic bags are made from ethylene, a substance that does not degrade easily, making them major contributors to plastic pollution. Did you know that over three-quarters of plastic ends up sitting in a landfill? How about that around 5% litter our oceans, and only 9% of plastics are recycled?
Plastic dog poop bags are unfortunately still popular among dog owners looking to swing poop into the trash and carry on. Plastic is by far the most environmentally damaging poop bag you can use. The good news is, there are better options available.
In layman’s terms, an eco-friendly poo bag will be one that doesn’t harm the environment. Not sure how to know whether or not your poop bags are legit? The most eco-friendly dog poop bags in the US will be labeled with an ASTH D6400 certification to be considered “compostable.” The United States Environmental Protection Agency focuses on what can be legitimately marked compostable.
Note that fully compostable poop bags with this certification are usually more pricey and a bit harder to find. If you’re in the market for something a little more budget-friendly that still has some earth-conscious elements, biodegradable bags also help improve your eco-footprint.
Something biodegradable can be broken down naturally by microorganisms in the environment. A lot of biodegradable poop bags are made from natural materials, but synthetic materials can also be considered biodegradable. These doggie doo bags will usually break down in around two years.
Not all biodegradable poop bags are made equal. Just because a poop scoop bag may be labeled as a “biodegradable bag,” often, that’s not enough. After being used and thrown away, they may only partly decompose. Look out for a logo from a trusted source on the bags before you buy them.
Compostable dog-doo bags to the rescue! Compostable bags are a type of biodegradable bag that will fully decompose in around 90 or so days. Usually, they’re made from an environmentally-safe cellulose vegetable base (corn) and other renewable products.
There are two types of compostable bags. One is suitable for industrial compost. As the name suggests, they’re made to be disposed of in commercial composting environments. Check with your city to learn more about your local composting programs (some cities have regulations against compostable poop bags).
The other type is safe for home composting. If you’re looking for dog poop bags for home-compost, be sure to check if the bag has a “Home Ok Compost” certificate. These bags will fully break down and decompose, helping to keep our landfills and oceans plastic-free.
Environmentally friendly poop bags are just as easy to use, convenient, and durable as their plastic counterparts, but they won’t kill our sea life and pollute our earth.