As most of our Poo Revolution blog posts suggest, the disposal of dog poo and poo bags is a very complex issue! Ultimately, there is no perfect solution out there at present, with trade offs and drawbacks for most poo bag options.
As covered in other blog posts, dog poo is an environmental pollutant (in the same class as oil spills and pesticides) and health hazard to humans and wildlife. Therefore leaving it in nature will severely impact the environment, so unfortunately poo bags are needed.
So how do you decide which poo bag is most sustainable?
We believe it's helpful to work backwards and first start with considering how you are disposing of dog waste. This is because the eco-friendliness of a poo bag depends heavily on where they actually end up.
If you don't/can't compost dog poo at home:
Most likely you are disposing of the poo bags in dog waste bins or general waste at home. Both of these bins go to incineration or landfill, so compostable/biodegradable bags are not an eco-friendly option (find out more here).
1. Re-use non-recyclable plastic packaging and waste
E.g. crisp packets, bread bags, plastic packaging from magazines or online shopping. This not readily recyclable waste is often thrown into general waste, so is already headed for landfill/incineration. By re-using it, you avoid the need for poo bags at all!
2. Use poo bags made out of waste and recycled materials
For people who may not have the time (or organisational skills) to collect non-recyclable waste, or do not have enough of it (some dogs poop a lot!) - this is the next best option.
ReSEAcled poo bags that save ocean-bound plastic bottles
These poo bags are based on the same principle as above i.e. using waste that is already destined for landfill/incineration but additionally collect ocean-bound plastic bottles at source. Made from bio-renewable oyster shell waste and recycled plastic, they help conserve precious resources, reduce carbon emissions and plastic pollution.
Click here to learn more.
3. Pick up more than one poo per bag!
While this may be a little awkward and tricky to do, increasing the number of uses per bag will dramatically reduce it's environmental impact.
If you do compost dog poo at home:
1. Reusable poo bags
Yes they are a thing! Not for the faint-hearted. Collect your dog waste and bring it home to be composted (either in a dog poo wormery or home compost). This basically avoids the need for poo bags altogether as you are only buying one (instead of hundreds or thousands over your dog's life!).
2. Certified home compostable poo bags
If you don't like the sound of reusable poo bags (no judgment - we don't blame you!) then ensure you use properly certified home compostable poo bags, with the following certifications: OK compost HOME (EN 13432) and DIN-Geprüft Home Compostable Mark.
Note: industrial compostable poo bags and other ambiguously termed 'biodegradable' or 'degradable' poo bags will not biodegrade in home compost. Unfortunately, there's a high chance even properly certified home compostable poo bags won't biodegrade in home compost either (hence reusable is recommended over home compostable).