How To Pick Up Dog Poop Without Plastic Bags: 6 Options


This guide is a complimentary guide to another guide we’ve written on eco friendly dog poop bags, and also a guide on the different types of dog poop bags you can buy.

If you’re someone who is environmentally conscious, you might like to know other ways you can pick up dog poop other than using plastic, and even dog poop bags in general.

Below we have listed the available methods, both inside and outside that are available to you to pick up your dog’s poop if you don’t want to use plastic bags.

Let’s look at them …


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

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How To Pick Up Dog Poop Without Plastic Bags: 6 Options


1. Pooper Scooper or Shovel, & Waste Bin

If we are talking about picking up dog poop outside in the front or backyard, a pooper scooper or shovel is the best option.

You can then put it in your main trash bin, or get a little pet waste bin if you want to keep all the pet waste by itself and away from the main trash.

Some commonly used pooper scoopers and a commonly used mini waste bin might be:

Not only are they more cost effective than bags, but if you use a longer handle shovel or scooper, you don’t have to get too close to the poop to smell it.

If you wait until the poop dries out, it cuts out a lot of the mess fresher and wetter poop might cause on your scooper or shovel.

You can also store them away or hang them in a garden shed when you aren’t using them.


2. Compostable Dog Poop Bags

Compostable dog poop bags are made of organic based materials and are designed to not only be biodegradable, but to be used in compostable conditions.

Compostable bags usually have to meet biodegradability standards, but also criteria in relation to compostability such as:



Absence of contamination or difference from existing compost physical/chemical makeup,

Other chemical/physical parameters,

Worm tests 

Heavy metal tests


At the moment, industrial compost sites don’t usually accept pet waste because of a couple of reasons.

You can however, as long as it’s safe and effective, dispose of dog poop in a home compost bin with a live worm culture.

Just make sure the compost conditions work for pet waste, and that it’s safe in terms preventing the spread of pathogens or harmful bacteria from the dog poop to humans and animals.


Some examples of compostable bags might be:

  • My Alpha Pet Dog Poop Bags (on Amazon) made with resins from plants and vegetables. 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
  • 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).


3. Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags

Biodegradable dog poop bags need to be able to break down naturally in the environment with the help of micro organisms.

Dog poop bags labelled as biodegradable might have the following requirements by law and standards in the US:

Have to meet ASTM D6400 guidelines

Should meet any legal guidelines which outline how long the bag should take to decompose – generally any material that takes longer than 6 months is not allowed to market their product as ‘biodegradable’


In Europe and Australia, biodegradable dog waste bags have similar standards they have to meet.

It’s important to note that if you buy either biodegradable or compostable bags and you place them in the normal trash disposal, they will go to a landfill site.


Some examples of biodegradable bags might be:


4. Flushable Dog Poop Bags

Flushable dog poop bags have some benefits but also some problems.

On one hand, flushing dog poop in flushable bags means we aren’t using plastic bags, and other bags aren’t going to landfill.

On the other hand, flushing dog poop can be a contamination risk inside the house and bathroom, and if the bags don’t dissolve properly in the sewer system, they can be costly for governments to remove.

As long as the flushable dog poop bags dissolve so they don’t have to be removed as debris in debris traps, and there are no poop bacteria/pathogen contamination risks both to the home and the environment – they appear to be a good option.


5. Pet Litter Tray

This one is more for small dogs.

If you are someone who lives inside an apartment and your dog doesn’t have access to a yard during the day or when they aren’t on a walk, you can train them to poop in a pet litter tray.

You can simply empty the tray and replace/clean out the litter as required. You could also put puppy training pads down on it and change them as required.

Something like the Puppy Go Here Indoor Litter Tray (on Amazon) might be a good option


6. Re-Use Newspaper Or Other Paper Material You Have Around The House

This works well when you are picking up dog poop around the yard.

You can wait for the dog poop to dry, and then get several layers of used newspaper or paper, and use it to pick up the poop and put it in a dog poop bin.


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