Much attention has been placed on the ill-effects of plastic shopping bags and how consumers can make changes for the better. With all of the recommendations to replace plastic shopping bags with reusable bags, it’s easy to forget about another kind of bag: ones used for pet poop scooping. Although pet clean-up isn’t on everyone’s brain, a simple act like using compostable pet waste bags shouldn’t be a number two priority — it’s an easy way to ensure waste decomposes faster and harmful plastics are kept out of landfills, water sources, and even the air we breathe.

Find it! Compostable pet waste bags

Choosing compostable pet waste bags helps you on your path to zero waste because…

  • They reduce the use of oil in production.
  • They prevent water contamination from bacteria in pet waste.
  • They can be readily composted along with organic waste in municipal composting facilities (check with your local composting facility first).

In the US, the dog waste produced every year averages over 400 pounds of pet waste per household. Unscooped, this poop is a significant contributor to bacteria, such as e. coli and salmonella, in oceans and waterways. Dog waste alone can contribute 20 to 30 percent of bacterial pollution in affected streams and 10 to 50 percent in the air we breathe.

Most pet waste that is sent to landfills is encased in petroleum-based polyethylene (PE) bags, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Compostable pet waste bags decompose much faster than PE (polyethylene) plastic bags. However, compostable bags won’t decompose if disposed of inside a non-compostable bag. Dispose of the compostable bag and the waste curbside with other compostable yard waste, bury it in your backyard, or compost it yourself.

Properly scoop and dispose of poop in compostable bags rather than plastic bags the next time your dog goes potty.

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