If you’re environmental aware, you’ll want to know all you can about compostable dog poop bags.
Similar to a biodegradable dog poop bag, if you’re buying compostable dog waste bags, you’ll want to know that what you’re buying does have environmental benefits, and isn’t a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo.
In this educational guide, we’ve set out to explain the ins and outs of compostable dog poop bags including:
- What they are
- The benefits
- The problems
- What some of the best available compostable dog poop bags available are
- Whether they are worth buying consideration
Let’s check them out…
Compostable Dog Poop Bags: Good, or Bad?
What Are Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
Compostable dog poop bags are dog waste bags that can break down naturally with other organic matter to create hummus/compost, that fertilises plants, soil and other growing matter to make them more nutrient rich.
What Requirements Must A Compostable Dog Poop Bag Satisfy?
Compostable bags must usually meet a standard for compostability.
The requirement are more extensive than biodegradable bags as compostability bags must meet criteria in relation to:
- Disintegration, Absence of contamination or difference from existing compost physical/chemical makeup,
- Other chemical/physical parameters,
- Worm tests
- Heavy metal tests
It’s important to understand that even a bag with 1% plastic can contaminate a compost heap. To be able to be compostable, a poop bag must be 100% organic so it matches the makeup of the other matter and the compost conditions.
It’s also important to note that industrial composting sites are much different to your average compost heap at home.
How Do Compostable Dog Poop Bags Differ, and How Are They Similar To Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags?
The similarity is that both bags need air or an aerobic environment to break down properly via natural micro organisms in the environment.
The differences are:
- All compostable materials are usually biodegradable
- Biodegradable materials are only compostable if they meet all the compostable criteria which usually involves certain requirements. The criteria is mentioned in the question above.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
The benefits of using compostable dog poop bags compared to other poop bags are that:
- Compost/compost hummus can be used to enrich the nutrients of different plants, gardens, soils etc.
- Bio degradable bags only naturally decompose – they don’t create compost
- Flushable bags present contamination problems both in the home and in the environment, and don’t always break up properly in a sewer system – leading to blockages
- Plastic bags take an estimated 500-1000 years to break down in the environment, can get caught in animals’ throats and internal organs, and emit harmful micro polymers when they break down
What Are The Issues With Using Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
The sad reality is that unless you currently have a residential pet waste compost system, or your local council has a pet waste compost system, compostable bags have little use.
Most industrial compost sites don’t accept compostable pet waste because it’s too hard to clean the dog poop, and the risk of contaminating other compostable matter is too high.
On top of that, home compost systems including dog waste usually need high temperatures and need to be sealed off properly to prevent pathogens and bacteria in the dog poop from making humans and animals sick.
What Are Some Of The Best Available Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
An example of dog poop bags made with resins from plants and vegetables are the My Alpha Pet Dog Poop Bags (on Amazon) that are ASTM D6400 Certified (USA) and EN13432 Certified (EU), and break down and decompose in just 90 days. This compostable bag is an alternative to a polythene plastic bag
The Flush Puppies Doodie Bags (on Amazon) also meet the ASTM d6400 standard and California law for “compostability” claims, and are certified compostable by the biodegradable products institute (BPI).
What Are The Alternative To Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
Alternatives to compostable dog poop bags are:
You might also consider options like pooper scoopers and other scoops in your front and back yard to pick up dog poop.
Should You Consider Using Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
In short, if you have a suitable home compost system you feel safe using that actually composts the pet waste, they are a great idea.
Similarly, if your council offers facilities that compost pet waste – they could be a good option.
If however they are going straight to landfill sites in the normal waste disposal, the only benefit you have is that they aren’t plastic bags – as the compostable bags usually won’t have an aerobic environment to actually break down.
The decision is up to you.
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