The conundrum of the poop bag

Treats and poop bags are the standard items you will find in every responsible dog owners pockets or at least it should be….

On our daily walks we see a lot of poop not being picked up, or that people have picked it up and then chosen to toss the bag with the poop on the ground. Tossing your plastic bag in nature is possibly worse than leaving the poop, but let’s start with why you should always always ALWAYS pick up after your dog.

plastic walk

  1. Littering. First off, we all have our favorite park or path in the forest we love to walk in. But if everyone leaves their dog’s poop lying around then both your dog’s paws and your boots will be a sad sight by the time you go home, so this is the first reason as to why you should pick up after your dog – cause you want to keep the place as attractive as it has always been.
  2. The ban. Secondly, you also want others to enjoy it and not begin to carry a grudge against dog owners, possibly banning dog owners from places due to poop littering.
  3. Pathogens. Now the next thing is that dog poop actually contain a lot of pathogens, which actually might destroy the natural fauna. Due to the pathogens it can also spread diseases to other animals, possibly another dog which is something I’m guessing you might not want on your conscience.

You might think that you avoid all the above mentioned points by picking up the poop and then throwing the bag (why would you do that though!) but let’s talk about why it is possibly worse for you to throw the plastic bag with the poop in it…

plastic bag

  1. See again we are back to littering which you have already read is not very nice and might lead to a ban, so let’s just stop littering, ok?
  2. Plastic doesn’t decompose at all. A dog poop takes around 2 weeks to decompose whereas the plastic bag will just stay as it is – NOT decomposing and might even take a little trip out into our oceans causing extreme damage to our marine life. Now, I am sure you do not want the suffocation of a nice little sea turtle on your conscience, am I right? Humans have overdone it with the massive use of plastic already, it is time that we become aware of what we are doing to our planet and start taking action and it all starts with you.

landfill plastic

The sad thing is that even the plastic poop bags that we throw out in the designated trash cans also end up in the landfills and eventually in the sea. I’ve searched and searched for ways to avoid this as poop bags is something that many (hopefully most) dog owners use several of a day. Some articles suggest picking it up with paper, or using leaves, but that is just not that handy to have in your pocket. Others suggest shovels, but again the handy aspect is just not there. I read an article just yesterday where a local British man, so tired of seeing dog poop all around his local park, decided to build a lamp using the poop bags as fuel to keep it lit. What an awesome idea right! Sadly it might take a while before these lamps are installed in all parks, so what to do in the meantime?

There is a new industry slowly rising with companies making so-called biodegradable bags, which sounds FANTASTIC! Sadly many of these bags are not 100% biodegradable, but just decompose into smaller pieces of plastic, which is not really making much of a difference. However, there are some made from maize flour and vegetable oil that actually breaks down completely and even provides food for microorganisms. Of course these come with a higher price which makes it difficult for many to buy and very hard to convince people that they should buy these bags instead of the cheap plastic ones, but when you think about it….it might be worth it in the end…

What do you think? And have you found other environmentally friendly ideas you would like to share?

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