Poopy Bags – Green Or Not?
Most of us understand that we need to pick up after our pooches and poopy bags make the task more convenient when we are out and about. But are poopy bags ecologically sound? Ask Kermit the Frog – it’s not easy being green.
Many waste bags are made from plastic, so the short-term convenience has long-term implications. Those plastic bags end up in a landfill, and they take eons to degrade. There are biodegradable bags on the market. While that may sound nice, many bags labeled as biodegradable contain some plastic, so when the biodegradable part of the bag breaks down, it leaves behind microplastics, which are damaging to the environment.
There are a few good options to dispose of pet waste. You can use 100% plant-based bags and toss them out, you can compost the waste, or you can flush it (not the bag, just the waste).
Several brands of waste bags are made from plants, and once you throw them out, they will degrade faster than anything made of plastic. Make sure to look for plant-based bags rather than “biodegradable.” That being said, even plant-based bags don’t decompose quickly at the landfill. To decompose well, air is needed, and landfills squish the trash, so there is little air to make the composting process work quickly.
You can buy a commercial pet waste composting bin. However, do not use this waste compost in your vegetable garden! If you have a rural property, you can bury it in an out-of-the-way spot. Dig your hole at least 6″ below the surface. Some people bring it home and flush it into their sewer system, but we don’t suggest doing this if you have a septic system. Some areas have a facility that accepts pet waste, so check with your municipality to see if they do.
And if you use liners in your cat’s litter box, you have the same problem to solve. Again, companies are now making plant-based litter liners.
All of these disposal ideas have pros and cons. Choose a method that works best for your lifestyle and feel better about “picking up.”