Caring for over 20 dogs per day for more than a decade, I have gone through ALOT of poop bags. If you are like me, you see something that say's "biodegradable" or "earth friendly" and you immediately feel good about your purchase. At least you are doing something to help the planet in a seemingly overwhelming time. Turns out it's a little more complicated than that. Dog poop and single use plastic are a big problem, so much so it made my head spin when researching this topic.
Really, the most earth friendly thing you can do is dispose of your dog's poop in a separate compost specifically made for dog waste. The EPA actually recommends flushing it down the toilet using a scoop or water soluble bag, given that your septic tank can handle it of course. Well, I live in a densely populated urban setting and that is unfortunately just not realistic for me or desirable for most of the people I know.
The one thing you CAN do right now is to be conscious to purchase only compostable bags and dispose of them properly in the trash. This isn't fool proof but bags made of vegetable oil and corn have a better chance of decomposing in a landfill given the right conditions ( air and sun) in under a year. Marketing jargon can be super tricky and misleading, that means checking the label to make sure they meet the ASTM D6400 compostable standard .
Full disclosure, I have yet to find a compostable bag that performs as well as the others, but I am certain that being mindful and taking a little extra care when using a compostable bag is worth it for the planet aren't you?
To make it easier for you I have included the top 2 which I think perform the best plus my favorite scooper.
Compostable Poop Bags
Pet Waste Bags
And no you guys, in most areas you can't put dog waste in your yard waste bin or compost bin (or your neighbors for that matter) even if it is in a compostable bag. Dog waste spreads disease and disposal laws are complicated and can vary by county so be sure to check your local guidelines.