Traditional plastic is widely known as not being the best choice for the environment, particularly when it comes to bags, carry bags and now even dog poop bags. With people around the world looking to reduce their environmental footprint, alternative options such as Biodegradable And Compostable Dog Poop Bags are entering the market.
Compostable and biodegradable dog poop bags are less toxic and more environmentally friendly than traditional plastic bags due to their ability to break down rapidly in the right environment. They are known as bioplastics, being made from renewable materials. Biodegradable plastic does include some traditional plastic components and can leave behind some toxic residue when breaking down in landfill. Whereas, compostable plastic bags can break down in a composter or worm farm back into natural components.
What Are Dog Poop Bags Usually Made Of?
Typical dog poop bags are essentially made from traditional plastic, meaning you dispose of them in landfill and they contribute to the waste pollution in the world. They are often made from polyethylene resin (PE). These are thermoplastic polymers – meaning they’ve been heated and reheated again to be moulded into the correct shapes.
Other forms of PE include low and high-density polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE). Typically, you will find HDPE commonly used for harder wearing applications such as shampoo or toiletry bottles and LDPE for softer applications such as shopping bags, cling wrap and dog poop bags.
They can also be made from bioplastics that are able to be quickly degraded in a landfill environment or compostable, which can be broken down into natural components in an industrial composter, home composter or worm farm.
Are Normal Dog Poop Bags Recyclable?
The dog poop bags made from HDPE or LDPE are technically able to be recycled, however, unfortunately many people just dispose of them in a rubbish bin in the park or at home. HDPE is flexible upon heating and is strong once cooled, making it useful for sheeting, engineering applications and product packaging.
This type of plastic is resistant to chemical and impact, has a long life-span, is strong and durable yet lightweight and is easily recyclable similar to PET (think soft drink bottles). Similar to HDPE, LDPE can be recycled through being melted down and used for new products. This plastic can also leach toxic chemicals if left un-recycled.
The other issue with these bags is that the recycling is not always readily available – some shops will take carry bags but dog poop bags will have to go to your local recycling plant if it accepts them through curbside collection.
What Is The Benefit Of Using A Plastic Alternative?
The biggest benefit of using a plastic alternative for your dog poop bags – such as compostable or biodegradable – is that you will be reducing your environmental footprint in several ways. A typical plastic bag can take centuries to thousands of years to break down in landfill.
What Are Bioplastics?
Bioplastic refers to plastic alternatives that are made from renewable sources such as organic materials. Two examples of a bioplastic are compostable plastic and biodegradable plastic. This essentially means that these plastics are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional plastics which cause several issues for the environment.
Biodegradable plastic is made to break down faster with specially designed microbes that speed up the decomposing process. Biodegradable plastic is also often known as ‘bio-based’ plastic as it still contains some toxic chemicals, unlike compostable plastic.
Biodegradable plastic is often made by extracting the sugar from plants like corn and sugarcane. These are then converted into polylactic acids. Another way to make biodegradable plastic is to engineer it from microorganisms which are made to break down the plastic quicker.
Compostable plastic is an alternative to the typical toxic plastic most popular items such as plastic bags have been made from for decades. A ‘next-generation’ plastic, compostable plastic is made from renewable materials that will break down when they start to compost.
What Are The Benefits Of Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags?
Biodegradable plastic is providing another option for consumers to feel they are protecting the environment.
Some of the benefits of biodegradable dog poop bags include:
- They will break down more rapidly in a landfill environment – in months or a year rather than thousands of years.
- Some ingredients are bio-based and will break down into their natural state.
- They can be disposed of easily in landfill with the rest of your household garbage.
- You can dispose of them easily in a dog park or public garbage bin.
- They are safe for humans, wildlife, animals and the environment (mostly).
It should be noted that biodegradable plastic can leave behind some toxic residue when breaking down, due to the plastic components still present in the plastic.
What Are The Benefits Of Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
Compostable plastic is an alternative to the typical toxic plastic most popular items such as plastic bags have been made from for decades. While a typical plastic bag may take thousands of years to break down, compostable plastic can be broken down in an industrial composter, home composter or worm farm.
Some of the benefits of compostable dog poop bags include:
- Reduces contributions to landfill.
- Does not leach or leave behind toxic chemicals.
- Less greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing.
- Lower water and energy consumption during manufacturing.
- Safe for humans, animals, wildlife and the environment.
- Provide great fertiliser when composted correctly.
Why Are Plastic Poop Bags Bad For The Environment?
Plastic is used for so many everyday products from medical packaging and food packaging to toys, engineering and building products. For bags such as shopping bags, rubbish bin bags, dog poop bags, plastic has been the traditional choice for many years.
However, traditional plastic contributes to many environmental issues such as:
- Landfill contributions.
- Toxic leaching into the environment (soil, water).
- Can be toxic for wildlife, animals and humans (at some levels, depending on the plastic).
- Uses raw materials such as crude oil which are not good for the environment.
- Use higher levels of energy and water for manufacturing.
- Releases greenhouse emissions into the environment during manufacturing.
Unfortunately, many traditional plastics can’t be recycled and contribute to not only landfill but are toxic for wildlife and soil. Plastic can take decades, centuries or even thousands of years to break down.
How Can You Dispose Of Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags?
Biodegradable dog poop bags are easy to dispose of – being able to be thrown into landfill. This means that you can dispose of your dog poop in its bag in your normal garbage bin or in public garbage bins. So next time you’re at the dog park or walking your dog, you can dispose of your biodegradable dog poop bag in the bin.
However, do be aware that when breaking down into landfill, biodegradable plastic can leave behind toxic residue. They also can’t be disposed of in a composter or worm farm.
How Can You Dispose Of Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
Compostable plastic bags can be disposed of in an industrial composter (in large quantities), a home composter or a worm farm. However, it’s important to understand the exclusions to these disposal methods.
- If you’re disposing of in an industrial composting facility, make sure that facility takes dog or animal waste first.
- If you’re disposing of in your home composter, be wary of the acid that the dog poop will add to your compost. Consider emptying the bag first – you can flush this down the toilet depending on your sewerage situation or use it as fertiliser in your garden.
- If you’re disposing of dog poop bags into your worm farm, follow the instructions above, being careful of too much acidity in your farm. You may want to take the dog poop out as above but worms will also eat animal waste.
Where Can You Buy Biodegradable And Compostable Dog Poop Bags?
If you’re interested in lowering your environmental impact with your dog poop disposal, you’ll be excited to learn that compostable and biodegradable dog poop bags are becoming more and more accessible and cost effective.
You can purchase compostable (arguably the best type!) dog poop bags right here. We offer 120 bags made from corn starch in each roll!
These bags will:
- Compost 100% naturally.
- Eliminate odor.
- Will not tear or break.
- Won’t leak
- Will contribute to great fertiliser.
- Reduce your contributions to landfill.
Bioplastics including biodegradable and compostable plastic provide excellent alternatives to traditional plastic for your everyday needs, such as dog poop bags. Compostable dog poop bags such as the ones Generation earth sells, provide you with a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable option for disposing of your dog’s poop.
You can dispose of biodegradable plastic bags in landfill and know they will break down more rapidly than traditional plastic. However, compostable plastic can be disposed of in an industrial composting facility, your home composter or your worm farm to return to a completely natural state.
If you’re looking to take small (or large) steps toward living more sustainably and reducing your environmental footprint, consider purchasing compostable dog poop bags. While you’re here, take a look at our other environmentally friendly products such as compostable bags!