What a Pile of Rubbish!
We probably all know at least one person who has stepped in some dog poo, if we haven't done so ourselves. Uncollected waste appears to be on the increase in my local area, which genuinely infuriates me! Most of the time, this will be off main paths and on grassy areas, but this does not mean that it is OK. If you are a dog walker and you don't collect your dog's waste, please note, you are not only bringing a bad name on all dog owners, but you are making the local environment unsafe. Dog poo can cause infections such as toxocariasis, which can cause dizziness, asthma, nausea, blindness and seizures. This is why it is so important to always pick up after your pet! You don't know when a small child might be playing in the area you have just visited!
According to Keep Britain Tidy it is estimated that the UK has over 8 million dogs, which produce over 1,000 tonnes of waste a day! That is a lot of poo! If all this waste goes to landfill, that is over 365,000 tonnes of poo, many of which will be in plastic bags. Therefore, it is not only important to dispose of dog waste but to dispose of it responsibly.
My home town is great, in that dog waste can be disposed of in the compost bin, no bags needed! The area we live in does not allow this. It is all based on how the council then contain and dispose of the compost waste, so it is worth checking what your local area does. I wish all council areas within the UK would adapt a compost waste disposal method that allowed for dog waste to be composted.
The other issue is then what bag do you use. I used to believe that the term biodegradable meant that it was always environmentally friendly, but after seeing a social media post late last year on biodegradable plastics, I began to look in to this more. I strongly recommend that everyone does their own research in to biodegradable plastics and forms their own opinions. Personally, if I can find a compostable option, I will always choose this over biodegradable. Currently, companies can use the term biodegradable on such a broad definition, with no set time frame for items to break down and no specification as to what the material breaks down in to, meaning that some items labelled biodegradable could potentially take 200 years to break down into the microplastics that are polluting our oceans. Therefore, we've decided to use compostable poo bags.
Yes, it may seem like a waste that we are having to throw compostable bags in to landfill, but they will break down faster and in many cases, leave behind nutrients for the earth. We decided to look at a number of different compostable poo bags and here are our findings:
The cheaper of the three bags we compared. We purchase a range of other items from Ecovibe for ourselves, so it was convenient to add a box of poop bags on to our order. There are 25 bags on a roll, which is slightly too big if you use a poop bag holder (we use a Beco compostable one). The bags felt thinner than the others we compared but were still strong enough to carry waste on a long walk. All in all, if I was needing poo bags at the same time as ordering things for myself I might consider ordering them, but would otherwise order from elsewhere due to the inconvenience of the size of the rolls.
The most expensive bag price but when adding postage, it it cheaper than others. We ordered a sample pack from here. The samples arrived promptly and were packaged really nicely, with information about the product. These come with 15 bags on a roll if you are OK with the no handle option. If you want handles then they are not on rolls. As we ordered samples I'm not sure if they will fit in the poop bag holder but I suspect that they will. These bags are not only strong and durable but I love the colours they come in! For every purchase they donate 1% to help clean up our oceans. You can create a subscription which gives you 10% savings. They are definitely one of my favourites!
Again we ordered a sample pack. I'm not sure how many bags are on each of the rolls but the pictures look like they should fit inside a holder. The bags were strong and durable and they come in lovely blue and green colours. They support dog charities and offer a reward scheme. These are another one of my favourites!
Choosing which final product is going to be a hard one!
To finish, I wanted to share some other dog waste removal options I found when researching. One was purchasing flushable poo bags and flushing the poo down the toilet. Personally, I do not feel comfortable with idea, and you must check your local area allows for this! Another option is installing a dog poo bin, that will breakdown dog waste naturally and flush it. We bought this one from Amazon although I have seen it for sale in Pets at Home and Wilko. We have yet to install it, so keep an eye out for a future review on this product!