It’s not everyone’s favourite subject, but the UK’s 9 million dogs produce about 1000 tonnes of poop every day. That’s a lot of poop which is probably going to be bagged up. If you’re like us, you’ve probably bought ‘biodegradable’ dog poop bags in the past, feeling fairly smug that your furry friend may be a poop machine but they’re not contributing to the scourge of plastic in our environment. Well maybe not…
Biodegradable dog poop bags may contain plastic
Turns out that the word ‘biodegradable’ can hide a multitude of sins – including plastic. Here’s the science:
Biodegradable dog poop bags only take three to six months to decompose. This sounds a heck of a lot better than the hundreds of years normal plastic bags do. The trouble is, many of these bags are still made of plastic, so called ‘oxo-biodegradable’ bags. These simply break down into fragments (or micro plastics) which will remain in our environment for years and years. Hmmm.
Truly ‘green’ bags are made from alternatives such as corn, potato, sugar starch or bio-polymers. These break down naturally during the composting process and will then be consumed by micro-organisms. So composting your dog’s poop will naturally return it to the earth within weeks. Additionally, no oil-based components are used – unlike plastic which uses fossil fuels. How can you tell what to buy?
Dog With a Bone will only send you dog poop bags made from corn starch or other natural substances. No plastic poop vessels go into our boxes. They adhere to BS EN 13432 home standards too – which basically means they will break down within a home composting environment. As dog poop contains some pretty nasty pathogens, that need a fairly high temperature to kill, we really wouldn’t recommend using the resulting compost to put on your veg patch though – maybe just stick to your roses. Or pop the poop bag into a local council bin.
So please spread the truth about the ‘hidden’ plastic in biodegradable dog poop bags. And help us with our crusade to convert people to compostable alternatives. We like to think of ourselves as dog poop bag warriors. We really do.
Woof woof x
Image: Nicole Honeywill at Unsplash