As a dog parent, keeping a plastic dog waste bag in the pocket is crucial to ensure you can pick up your pet’s poop while having a noon walk. However, the use of plastic bags is not sustainable and, in fact, can harm our environment. These plastics will end up in landfills, contaminating land, groundwater, and even the ocean once they enter the water source. And for that reason, we urge you to switch from regular pick-up bags to biodegradable dog poop bags as more sustainable and eco-friendly products.
They are generally made from renewable cornstarch, resin, and vegetable oils to boost decomposition. Some products are also great compostable alternative dog poop bags you can throw in your compost bin. But remember, not all biodegradable poop bags for dogs are compostable.
Curious to know more about these alternative dog poop bags? Read this article thoroughly to the end!
Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags
Dogs are one of the favorite animals to keep as lovely pets because they are loyal and fun to play with. However, having a dog comes with a huge responsibility. One of which is walking the dog for at least 15-20 minutes per day. You must also ensure to keep a plastic dog waste bag to pick up the feces in case they poop.
Unfortunately, these plastics have become an ongoing environmental problem. To reduce it, biodegradable or compostable dog poop bags can be the best solution. What do you need to know about the two alternatives? Check out the full explanation below!
1. Biodegradable vs Compostable Dog Poop Bags
Many people think that compostable pet waste bags are the same as biodegradable ones. But they are different. The compostable poop bag is made of renewable materials, such as from renewable cornstarch, or bamboo, and contains zero plastic.
And thanks to the natural materials, they have a biodegradable characteristic. They are easy to decompose in the compost bin and, thus, won’t pollute our earth. Usually, the decomposition takes around 90 days at the compost facility. In comparison, it takes about 100 to 120 days at the home-based compost bin. But, it must be considered that you must be smart in choosing a brand with good sturdiness. Otherwise, you will have a weak one that is easily torn apart.
In contrast, biodegradable dog poop bags are not completely produced using renewable materials. The core ingredient to make this eco-friendly poop bag is thermoplastic (polylactic acid), which comes from tapioca and sugarcane. Considering these materials, biodegradable pet waste bags have better strength compared to compostable poop bags.
Unlike the compostable alternative, we can’t say you can throw the biodegradable one in the compost bin. The plastic ingredient can’t be broken down by bacteria. Otherwise, it may disrupt the fermentation process. Besides, biodegradable dog poop bag products also often end up in landfills. That said, they cannot decompose due to a lack of oxygen in the area. And so, they will remain there just like other plastic bags.
Regarding the price, both compostable and biodegradable products are more expensive than plastic ones. The price difference between the two is, though, a bit wide. For example, the compostable bag with 360 sheets will cost roughly US$ 50, while you will need to pay approximately US$ 21 for 540 sheets of biodegradable ones. But there’s always a cost to pay for a high-quality product, isn’t it?
2. Type Of Dog Poop Bags
You may think that there are only three types of dog poop bags, which are plastics, biodegradable, and compostable. Since we discuss the environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics, we will introduce one more sustainable option you can choose. What are those?
As we previously discussed, a biodegradable pet waste bag is an eco-friendly poop bag worth trying as it has less environmental damage. It is made of a mix of thermoplastic and natural material to ensure it can naturally decompose. Generally, it takes one year to a few years to degrade. Though it seems too long, that’s way better than plastic ones that will require hundreds to thousands of years to fully break down.
These pick-up bags are the best choice for a dog owner concerned about environmental issues. The compostable dog poop bags are made from plant-based materials, such as bamboo, corn, flax, and other starch sources. And so they are easier to degrade in the compost bin.
Besides, the decomposition process is significantly shorter than the biodegradable ones, around 90-120 days, depending on the oxygen and other environmental factors.
Like its name suggests, a recycled pet poop bag is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic materials made from recycled paper. Even though it’s not as versatile as the others, using it helps reduce the amount of plastic circulating around the world.
Nonetheless, recycled dog poop bags still contain 40-60% of plastics from the recycling process. Thus, they don’t have biodegradable characteristics, nor are they compostable.
3. Why Should We Use Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags?
Perhaps, some dog owners think using plastic dog poop bags is less detrimental to the earth because the frequency of use is not intense. But, in fact, the data says otherwise. The annual use of disposable plastic dog poop bags is estimated to reach 415 billion annually worldwide. That’s a catastrophic number!
However, it makes sense since one dog can produce about 1 kilogram of poop every few days. Imagine that number multiplied by the total dog population in America, which reaches nearly 77 million dogs! Our earth will be choked with over tons of dog waste yearly.
Of course, this number is very worrying considering the short life cycle, making it an unavoidable contributor to plastic pollution. A study mentioned that plastic waste from poop bags for dogs accounted for approximately 0.76 to 1.23 million tons per year.
Hence, it is highly recommended to switch plastics to environmentally friendly alternatives. For example, compostable and biodegradable dog waste bags. You can add the compostable one into your compost bin, while the biodegradable bag takes less time to degrade than the plastic product.
4. How Long Do Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags Last?
Data related to the decomposition period of biodegradable dog poop bags vary. Some say it takes one to a few years to break down the bags due to the plastic materials still in the products. Meanwhile, others argue that it only requires 3 to 4 months. Luckily, a study experimented with providing an environmentally friendly end-of-the-life cycle for biodegradable or bio-based dog poop bags.
The result was that the biodegradable bags took only 90 days to fully decompose in the green compost bin. However, the resulting compost has a rather low quality with the dog poop inside the bags. In addition, this study was carried out under laboratory conditions. Thus, further investigation is strongly urged to determine whether composting is a great way to break down biodegradable products.
How Do You Know If Dog Poop Bags Are Biodegradable?
Due to the increase in interest in biodegradable products, many companies use the term to create misleading packaging and information for consumers. They use oxo-degradable plastics, which contain additives that can degrade faster into microplastics. Those microplastics are none other than common plastic. But don’t worry!
We will help you determine if your dog waste bags are biodegradable. Check out below for the details!
1. Chemical Test
Biodegradable pet waste bags are generally made of natural materials, including starch. They could be cornstarch or tapioca, which are prone to iodine. So, here’s what you can do:
- Prepare your dog waste bags and iodine kit.
- Place the bags on a flat surface.
- Drop iodine on top with a pipette.
- Observe the color change. If the apparent color of iodine turns purplish, your dog poop bags are biodegradable.
2. Physical Test
It is the easiest method to know the biodegradability of your pet poop bag if you don’t have iodine. You only require to prepare a container with the lid, water, and the bag.
- Set a container with the lid.
- Put a dog poop bag inside.
- Pour water around ¾ of the container.
- Close the container with the lid.
- Shake it well for around 10 to 15 seconds.
- Let it sit for as long as it takes. If you notice particles from the bag floating around, it is biodegradable.
- You can also check on the BPI certified products to guarantee its originality.
Good Environmental Impacts of Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags
Knowing the hazardous impacts of plastic materials to the environment, replacing them with eco-friendly substitutes is a brilliant idea! And as a dog owner, it is your call to help save the earth by switching to the biodegradable dog waste bag.
In case you are still wondering why you are encouraged to do that, we provide you with several benefits of using the eco-friendly poop bag for our mother earth.
1. Reduce Greenhouse Emissions
Plastic contributes around 1.8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The number takes approximately 3.4% of global emissions. It is even predicted that by 2060, these emissions will increase to more than double, reaching around 4.3 billion tons. What a significant number!
Hence, changing the plastic dog poop bag into the biodegradable or compostable one is vital to help reduce emissions. Assuming your dog poops three times a week. Then multiply that number by 4 weeks in a month and 12 months in a year. And the result is you have successfully reduced plastic waste from dog poop bags by 144 sheets in a year!
Even though it doesn’t seem significant, it is crucial to take a small action rather than none.
2. Lower Plastic Pollution
According to WWF Australia, almost 8 million plastics reach our ocean every year, which is detrimental to coastal and marine life. The plastic pollution has even reached the depth of the Mariana trough, which runs 11 kilometers deep in the sea. That’s a terrifying fact! It is worsened by the fact that plastic requires around 400 years to decompose. Imagine the disastrous events we will have if we ignore these bitter truths and refuse to take action.
Therefore, having a biodegradable or compostable dog waste bag is worth considering. You don’t have to worry about the decomposition as it takes faster than plastics (swipe up for the detailed facts about it!). Besides, the compostable one can easily be pitched into the compost bin to further feed your plants. Well, it is not only being an owner responsible for the pet, but also for the earth they live on.
3. Cut The Waste
Based on the UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) data, around 7 billion plastics are produced globally every year. This massive number continues to grow as humans become more and more dependent on this toxic ingredient. Despite being beneficial to humankind, we cannot look away from the fact that plastics cost our earth a lot!
To reduce the burden on our earth, which is increasingly suffocated by plastic waste, it’s time to change the plastic stuff into a biodegradable one. One of which is a dog poop bag. According to a study, this bag is relatively faster to degrade, around 90 days.
Nonetheless, some products also need a longer time, about a few years, to fully decompose. If you prefer other eco-friendly options, the compostable one is the best choice. You can safely throw them into your compost container and let them sit for a while until they are ready to use.
What Brands Of Dog Poop Bags Are Biodegradable?
Finding biodegradable waste bags for dogs is tricky. Sometimes, you find products that are actually not biodegradable but are claimed to be deceiving the consumers. For that reason, we compile the best biodegradable and compostable dog poop bags that have been certified below!
1. Doggy Do Good
If this is your first time trying biodegradable waste bags, Doggy Do Good will be your ideal choice. This small biodegradable poop bag comes with several size packs, whereas the smallest one has 60 sheets for US$ 9.99. Such a great deal!
In addition, they are unscented and made from plant-based resins (the bio-based property component), which are safe for the environment. And most importantly, they have obtained OK compost and TÜV certification from Austria.
2. Oh Crap
When they want to buy a product, some dog parents want to know the value behind the product they purchased for their dog. And the Oh Crap can satisfy your idealism by offering a core value: reducing as much plastic as possible from the landfill. Thus, providing our fur friends with a healthy environment to live in. Amazingly, around 25 million plastics have been reduced thanks to their campaign.
They are also working with shelters in Australia to replace plastic poop bags with their products. They are made of cornstarch, the bio-based property component, as a natural raw material for biodegradable poop bags.
In addition, the products have been certified by OK compost, TÜV Austria, and meet international compostable standards. Knowing all the advantages, they only offer 45 bags for $9.99!
3. Earth Rated
Looking for BPI certified compostable and biodegradable dog poop bags? Earth Rated is the one to choose! It offers a small biodegradable poop bag you can easily carry in your pocket while walking your pet. Moreover, they are made of vegetable starch.
Thus, it is easy to decompose. Besides, the bags are unscented, making them less harmful to our environment. For 60 sheets, Earth Rated compostable bags will cost you US$ 11. Pretty affordable, right?
Biodegradable doesn’t mean it is compostable. However, it is better than plastic materials which are definitely harmful to our environment. These biodegradable dog waste bags quickly decompose, around 3 to 4 months. And the most amazing fact is that they are widely accessible and affordable.
You can easily find them on Amazon, Walmart, or other e-commerce sites and prices range from around 10 to 26 dollars, depending on the number of bags and size. Hence, there is no reason why you shouldn’t try these revolutionary dog poop bags.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is it OK to bury dog poop in your backyard?
Burying dog feces seems fine and a practical way to do it. But the poop is not easy to break down in the soil. Besides, the smell is disastrous for humans! If you cover the poop near your veggie gardens, they will invite insects to visit.
In addition, dog feces contain harmful bacteria, such as Giardia, Salmonella, and E. coli. So, as a dog parent, it will be wise to take their poop in a poop bag for dogs and throw them in the general bin.
Can you flush biodegradable dog poop bags?
If you have biodegradable dog poop bags but cannot find general garbage to throw them, you can just flush them in the toilet. But make sure that these dog waste bags are 100% biodegradable and quickly dissolve in the water. Otherwise, you can clog the septic system.
To check whether the dog waste bags break down in the water, you can put them in a container with a lid. Then, pour around ¾ of the container. Next, close it with the cover. Now, shake them for around ten seconds and observe those biodegradable bags. You can see particles of the biodegradable bags if they really get dissolved.
Are biodegradable dog poop bags really biodegradable?
Biodegradable dog poop bags are considered the best alternative, eco-friendly products to reduce plastic waste from pet poop bags. They are generally made of natural material that is 100% biodegradable.
However, these pet poop bags will not decompose entirely. They require optimal conditions such as constant oxygen exposure, which you cannot expect in the landfill. Especially if they are piled up with other wastes. Unfortunately, their sizes will shrink but not wholly decompose, just like a plastic pet waste bag.
Can you throw a biodegradable dog poop bag in the compost bin?
Almost all compostable pet waste bags are biodegradable. They are made of plant-based materials, such as bamboo, corn, and flax. In other words, they contain zero plastic. On the flip side, biodegradable dog poop bags are not always compostable.
Unlike compostable poop bags, biodegradable pet waste bags are not made entirely of organic materials. Hence, the soil cannot fully decompose, and the compost bacteria will not break down the “chemical or plastic-related” materials.