Let's talk 💩. As you carefully deposit your poop bag in a nearby bin, you feel like you’ve done your bit and made it to the hierarchy of well-behaved dog owners; cleaned up your community and spared anyone treading in your dog’s mess.
Surely, that’s enough, right? It used to be. But as dog owners, we can do more. Because how we clean up after them is having a big impact on our planet.
With over 900 million dogs in the world, there’s a whole lot of poop. While it’s always great to see owners picking up after their dogs, where we dispose of it is changing. The world generates over 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year; 33% of that isn’t managed in an environmentally safe way. For dog poop, bins are good, but we now have more options.
The big game changer is compostable dog poop bags. These are plant-based bags, tough and strong, perfect for picking up poops of all shapes and sizes. But what exactly are they, and why are they such an eco-friendly alternative?
Compostable Poop Bags
These can raise a few eyebrows, but there’s no denying they’re the poop bags of the future. With around 500 million plastic poop bags used each year, dog owners are looking for greener ways to get rid of poop. There are two types of compostable poo bags industrial and home compostable.
Compostable poop bags that are certified TUV HOME Compostable can also be used in, you guessed it, home compost for non-edible plants (because of the dog poop, not the bag). Not only are they are a more eco-friendly option, but they can do wonders for your garden.
It doesn’t stop there. Compostable poo bags are also great for the environment when it comes to manufacturing. Made from the plant-based material, cornstarch, these bags have a low carbon footprint. If you can find compostable poop bags that are packaged in recycled materials.
The compost process
First of all, composting is the process of breaking down organic waste by microbial digestion. For something to fully compost, organic waste needs the right level of heat, oxygen and water. That’s the science lesson over. Now, where does dog poop fit into all of this?
Dog poop is organic waste, fully compostable when placed in the right conditions. For a normal, well-managed home compost, home compostable poop bags will fully decompose after approximately 1 year.
For those new to compostable poop bags, there are some steps we recommend following. Firstly, you need to create the perfect compost condition. Because dog poop is high in nitrogen, it needs rich levels of carbon to match. Sawdust is almost pure carbon, so it’s a great neutraliser in this instance. When building your compost setting, use a 2:1 dog poop to sawdust ratio for the best results.
Unsurprisingly, dog poop contains a number of nasty parasites and pathogens. If you maintain a well-looked after compost at home, these will eventually be killed after a year. Even so, we advise all compost that has been produced using dog poop to only be used for non-edible plants. We’ll leave it up to your imagination to understand why…
Here’s our step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your dog’s poop and your compost:
In your compost pile use 1 part sawdust and 2 part dog poop.
Cover your pile with a dark sheet of non-absorbent material or compost lid. This locks in the heat and helps kill the bacteria.
Turn your compost on a weekly basis and check with a thermometer. Your compost must reach a temperature of 73ºC for at least 5 days, to kill the bacteria.
After roughly four to six weeks, you’re now ready to start using your compost for non-edible plants. By following these simple steps, you can turn your dog’s poop into natural plant food.
Where can I find compostable poop bags?
At Beco, we’ve designed compostable poop bags dog owners have been searching for. Our bags are made of cornstarch – material that when converted into polymers, provides the same strength and versatility as a normal plastic bag with a reduced environmental impact.
Our bags are also certified compostable. What does this mean? Well, to make it in the world of compost, bags must: biodegrade in compost conditions; disintegrate completely in one composting cycle; have no toxic effects or release heavy metals into the compost; and must have no negative impact on the composting process itself. Luckily at Beco, our bags tick all of these boxes.
As dog owners, there’s more to picking up poop than keeping our parks and pavements clean; it’s about doing it with as little environmental impact as possible. For those who want to clean up our world as well as their dogs’ mess, compostable poop bags are the best option.