Poo bags - all dog owners have to use them. We won't get into it here, but on top of being a nuisance, dog poo left in the environment can also be an environmental hazard and cause disruptions to our ecosystems despite being "natural".
So we all painfully use poo bags, and hope we can at least use one that's less damaging to our planet.
As an eco-conscious dog owner, should you be using biodegradable dog poop bags?
Most likely, no.
Biodegradable poo bags are a myth. But for the sake of clarity, follow these steps when deciding:
1. Do the biodegradable poo bags have ANY form of certification? If no, they are not biodegradable.
2. If certified, are these "COMPOSTABLE" certifications? The currently recognised certifications are those that assess the bags for breaking down in compost environments.
3. If they are certified compostable, do you have a compost bin at home to dispose of these bags and your dog poo? If no, then there is no point using them.
Why is there no point using biodegradable (compostable) poo bags if you don't put them in a compost bin at home?
There are no industrial composting facilities in the UK that accept dog waste, so all poo bags either go to landfill or incineration.
If in landfill, biodegradable bags do not biodegrade because of the lack of oxygen, correct temperatures and living microorganisms that break down the bag. So they act like normal plastic, with the added problem of releasing methane.
If incinerated, whether or not they are biodegradable is irrelevant as everything is burnt!
"But they are made of plants!"
No they are not. An in depth investigation of all the currently available "biodegradable" poo bags found that on average, only 20-30% of the bag was derived from plant material, with the remainder being a fossil fuel derived biodegradable plastic, polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT).
And even if they were made of plants, that's not necessarily a good thing.
Using crops like corn starch to make poo bags often mean direct competition with human food production, on top of industrialised agricultural practices that are polluting and resource intensive.
So what dog poo bag should I use?
ReSEAcled Poo Bags were developed with all the shortcomings of "biodegradable" poo bags in mind.
While not a "perfect" sustainable solution (because there is none), they are the least harmful to our planet, as they are made of existing waste materials.
They are also plastic negative, meaning each poo bag removes more plastic from the environment than it introduces.