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What to look for when choosing
The best, in an ideal world, you’re thinking extra thick and strong, environmentally friendly, biodegradable and compostable.
It’s a fact though, that many compostable and biodegradable products come at the cost of strength and being easy to use. They can be hard to open without splitting and often quite flimsy. You might have experienced the bag that breaks or splits in your hand just as you’re about to clean-up, or you can’t even get it off the role without tearing.
So even with the best of ‘going green’ intentions, if it’s not going to work for you, then you’re not going to buy it again. (By the way, this is when you know using a portable pooper scooper instead of your hand with a bag is gold!)
So the right product for you and your dog may be different from your neighbour. We’ve included what we rate as the best product options here that meet different criteria to find the best choice for you, your dog and your budget.
Do you have a big dog?
A reminder – if you’ve got a big dog, think big! You’re after the strong extra-large dog poop bags so your best buddy doesn’t catch you out with a messy problem. (If you’re wanting compostable bags, check out DogBuddy and Zenify bags below – their bags are bigger than the others.)
Compostable dog poop bags – Environmentally friendly
If you’re wanting to go green these are the bags for you to look at, biodegradable and 100% plastic free.
#1 Pogi’s Compostable Poop Bags
Tick all the boxes for the environment with these plant-based, leak-proof, compostable dog poo bags.
- Brand – Pogi’s Pet Supplies
- Extra large, leak-proof plant -based bags
- Certified compostable
- 18 rolls x 15 bags each = 270 bags in pack
- Packaging and cores are from recycled materials
- xlarge single roll packs also available in this brand ideal for ‘at home’ use
- Tie handles
Pogi’s range includes options of scented or unscented bags. If budget allows save by buying in larger quantities.
#2 ‘Planet Poop’ compostable bags – bigger than most
- Certified 100% plastic free sustainable product
- Size – There’s a range of sizes available to suit all dogs and budget buys in larger packs. A good choice for large dogs.
- Vegetable based and non GMO, non toxic (100% free from plastic) no micro-plastic as the product breaks down.
# 3 ‘Zenify’ compostable bags – larger sized bags
- 100% plastic free, certified to Australian, US and European standards as compostable product
- Size 38 x 24cm (14 x 9.4″). A little larger than most bags.
- Made from plant products
- Soy based ink has been used for any print on the product and packaging is recyclable
- Bags breaks down in 90 days
- Bags have handles
Nice to know: Australian owned business
Biodegradable Cornstarch dog poop bags
Pet N Pet 100% cornstarch bags
- Made from 100% vegetable-based cornstarch can be composted in purpose built dog compost bin
- Manufacturer expects bags to break down in 90-180 days
- 240 bags 33 x 22 cm (13 x 9″)
Note: Choosing Cornstarch is the ideal choice for sustainable living. But, there is a trade off. These are finer and can be more flimsy to use therefore tear easier.
‘Eco Friendly’ Biodegradable Dog Bags – leakproof
- These are made with a cornstarch blend and packaging is from recycled materials.
- Color – Green with print
- Size – 13 x 9″ ( 33 x 22 cm)
- 36 rolls 15 bags = 540 in total and come with dispenser & dog roll holder
- Bags are 100% leak-proof (guarantee by manufacturer)
- Lavender scented.
Best biodegradable bags for a big dog
DogBuddy Biodegradable Bags – Jumbo size
- XLarge size: 41.9cm x 31.75cm (16.5 x 12.5″)
- Made from a vegetable-based product
- Strong – 100% leak-proof
- 150 bags (10 rolls x 15)
- Note – these bags are unscented
- Manufacturer money-back guarantee
- Pair with a DogBuddy pooper scooper or use them on their own
Hard to beat the Xlarge size and manufacturer guarantee for the best poop bags for a big dog award.
Best Scented dog poop bags
‘Earth Rated’ scented bags
- Extra strong value pack
- 60 rolls x 15 bags each = 900 bags in pack
- Bags are thick – 100% leak-proof guarantee from manufacturer
- Lavender-scented (An un-scented option is available in this brand if you prefer)
- Package size options
- Note: These bags are not biodegradable although packaging and inner roll cores are made from recycled materials.
- Leash dispenser
Scented dog poop bags can cut down on the ‘ick’ factor if you have a little way to go to the bin.
Cheap dog poop bags
# 1 ‘Amazon basics’
Nothing fancy here – just basics that gets the job done. A top-rated and very popular budget-friendly choice.
- Color – Black
- Size – 9 x 13″ (33 x 23cm)
- 60 rolls x 15 bags = 900 in total with dispenser
Each roll of 15 bags is easily inserted into the dispenser. The dispenser then clips on to your dog leash for easy access when needed. Bags are strong enough to tie into a knot after use.
As the name suggests these are your basic, sturdy, no-frills dog poop bags. And, the bags are easy to separate.
‘Green’ and eco friendly – is it really?
We can’t assume that because a product is labelled as ‘green’ or ‘eco friendly’ that it means it’s completely biodegradable or compostable.
If we think for a moment about the amount of waste being produced every day to be disposed of by an estimated 5.5 million dogs in Australia, the mind boggles. The staggering number highlights the importance of our choices and the role of understanding the difference between biodegradable and compostable products.
What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable?
There’s often confusion around what the terms biodegradable and compostable mean. In a nutshell, biodegradable products will break down, eventually, but it can take many, many years. Whereas compostable products break down quickly, if they are given the right conditions.
To further confuse the issue, biodegradeable products are considered compostable if 90% of the product has broken down within 180 days. The CSIRO provides interesting reading on this topic.
Always check the product description when you buy bags. They might not actually be the ‘earth friendly’ poop bags you intended to buy.
Why do cornstarch bags deteriorate before use?
Compostable poop bags made from cornstarch need to be used within a set time period after manufacture date. This is because the bags become more flimsy as the ingredients deteriorate over time.
How to dispose of dog poop
- If you have a purpose-built compost bin for your pet’s poop, that’s ideal. Dog poop in non-plastic, compostable bags can be added directly to this compost bin. But definitely don’t dispose of it in your general compost bin. Note: To break down compost so it turns into organic waste compost, the temperature has to be maintained at 71°c. This means it’s a process that takes time so it’s not going to happen within a week or two.
- Waste can be buried if you have a large backyard. You must make sure the hole is deep so your dog doesn’t get busy digging it up again. Don’t bury waste under your plants.
- Dispose of bags in general household rubbish bin. It’s not the best option. You may want to check with your local council with regards to their regulations around adding to the green waste bin. Although I must add, the green bin is generally not an option in most council areas.
- Council does not recommend dog poop be flushed down the toilet into the sewerage system as it doesn’t decompose the same as human waste.
It’s our obligation to care for all of our dog’s needs and cleaning up after him is no different to feeding or bathing.
There’s nothing worse than stepping into an unpleasant surprise that a dog owner has left behind, when you’re out taking a pleasant walk. Yep, I’m sure you can tell I’ve been the unlucky one on more than a couple of occasions over the years. It’s even worse to see the mess left where kids play or seeing a dog go to investigate a mess, sniff and lick.
Costs of not cleaning-up after your dog
Not only is it unpleasant, it’s dangerous to not clean up after your pooch. The waste can contain dangerous parasites and bacteria which cause disease to humans so clean up is most important.
But the cost can be to more than health if you’re caught out. There are penalities for not cleaning up after your dog. Fines vary depending where you live in Australia. But using south-east Queensland as an example, not disposing of pet droppings can result in a fine of $220 (at time of writing).
And if an owner doesn’t carry a bag or container to pick up after their dog it’s a $55 penality.
Final thoughts on clean up
As responsible dog owners, it’s our job to see to all our dog’s needs and that includes the dog poop bags to clean-up the ‘doggy do’.
We’ll be charitable. We’ll say the dog owner has had their mind elsewhere and not thinking clearly when a mess is left behind. But really, we all know, there’s no excuse. When the budget is stretched, buy bags in bulk, if you can, to save a little. It’s all a part of owning a dog.
It’s not the most pleasant thing to do, I’ll admit, but it has to be done so let’s make it as clean and economical as possible. And to amp up the easy convenience factor, check out our article on portable pooper scoopers.
Going for a walk with your dog is the best; for you and your best friend, so let’s always be prepared with bags.