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Important Facts about Dog Bags for Waste

Updated on September 10, 2016

We are all trying our best to go green and being responsible pet owners. The first order of business is cleaning up after your dog. It is not that much problem to pick up after your dog and you are doing your community and the Earth a great justice.

Dog feces run off accounts for approximately 20 to 30 percent of bacterial pollution in our streams, rivers, lakes and ocean waters off our beaches. Dogs can carry bacteria, parasites and diseases that humans can catch through dog feces. E. Coli and salmonella are among the many bacteria that can be carried through dog feces.

The simple act of cleaning up after your dog on the morning or evening walk would go a long way to help cleaning and keeping clean our environment. This is something we as responsible pet owners can do to help. Yet I see waste all over the place when I take my dog for walks.

Even picking up after your dog could be a more conscientious green act if we used the proper vehicle to dispose of the dog waste. A common bag to use is the plastic grocery bags that we get at the store. These bags are made from petroleum and do not help in the recycling of the dog waste. It actually hinders it by taking a very long time to reclaim.

Biodegradable dog bags are the answer. They will degrade and allow the dog waste to degrade in the proper area (land fill) instead of just being left behind to run off into streams, rivers and other waterways.

There are two types of biodegradable bags available. The first is a polymer material mixed with an additive that when proper oxygen and water conditions are maintained will allow the polymer to degrade into an inert material. These bags have a long shelf life, take longer to degrade and need oxygen as the main catalyst for processing. This means a bag deep in a landfill with no oxygen will not degrade.

The second type of dog bags use vegetable starches mainly corn as the additive. This type uses water and microbes as the catalyst for degrading. These bags have a shorter shelf life and need the proper environment of water and microbes to process correctly.

There is an organization that maintains standards for calling a product biodegradable. It is the American Society for Testing and Materials and is a voluntary organization made up of industry representatives. The ASTM standard D6400 is the standard for biodegradable products. You might look for this when shopping for proper dog bags to use.

Just the shear desire to be responsible pet owners is not enough to be green. You must be educated in the products that you use to dispose of dog waste. An enormous amount of pollution can be controlled by the individuals if we would just pickup after our own.


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