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Biodegradable vs Compostable Dog Poop Bags: Which Are Eco-Friendly

by | 22 June 2023

We all love our four-legged friends, don’t we? They’re cute, loyal, and, let’s face it, pretty good at keeping our hearts full. But every dog owner knows there’s one less glamorous task that comes with the territory – picking up the poop! The question is: are we making eco-friendly choices when it comes to our doggie duty? Let’s sniff out the difference between biodegradable and compostable dog poop bags and why it’s important for our planet.

Biodegradable vs Compostable Dog Poop Bags

The Bark Behind Biodegradable Bags

“Biodegradable” is a buzzword many of us are drawn to when looking for earth-friendly products, including dog poop bags. At a sniff, it seems like these are the go-to green option, promising to break down naturally over time. But hold on to your leashes, folks, because things are about to get a little messy.

The term “biodegradable” is a broad one; essentially, it can be decoded as something that will ‘break down at some point’. This could be anywhere from a few years to several centuries. This includes plastic, as it will break down at some point. Then after the poop bags have broken down, the bags will release harmful microplastics into the environment. These pesky microplastics are a significant pollutant, ending up in everything from our waterways to the food chain.

“Biodegradable is a word that describes the process by which something breaks down, not when the item will be gone, how long it will take, or if the material will return to the earth.”

So the term biodegradable dog poop bags is just a marketing word that has been used for years now to greenwash us to believe something is eco-friendly. Plus, while the biodegradable poop bag (i.e. plastic poop bag) is breaking down, your furry friend’s business will mummify and never return to the environment. 

The Green Pawprint: Compostable Poop Bag Bags

Enter compostable dog poop bags, the eco-superheroes of waste management. Unlike their biodegradable counterparts, compostable bags are subject to strict, government-enforced standards. The “compostable” tag isn’t just a catchy marketing phrase; it’s a promise that these bags will turn into organic matter within a set timeframe in composting conditions.

Down Under, we Aussies boast some of the most stringent composting standards in the world. Our standards, known as AS 5810 for Home Composting and AS 4736 for Commercial Composting, ensure that 90% of a bag has to break down within 12 weeks. And after six months, the bag should be entirely gone.

Don’t worry; they won’t fall apart instantly, though. They keep for 12 months after purchase in cool, dry conditions (i.e. not composting conditions). And it’s ok if they get wet on a walk; they will still be good for a month or two; it’s when they are in a warm, wet and humid environment that the magic happens.  

The Poop Bag Plot Twist

So a compostable poop bag can be described as biodegradable as that is the process that it breaks down by, plus it will be made from material such as cornstarch that returns to the earth in a specific time frame.  

Choosing between biodegradable and compostable dog poop bags is more than just picking a product off the shelf. If a poop bag claims to be biodegradable but doesn’t sport any compostable certification logos, it’s a warning sign that plastic lurks inside. However, if you spot the Australian composting symbols, you can wag your tail in satisfaction, knowing you’re picking a product that’s passed strict composting tests.

Plus, there may be more to consider when looking to get away from plastic poop bags and become a planet hero. Check out our ultimate guide to dog poop bags to learn more. 

Tale’s End: Paws for the Planet

As we scamper towards a greener future, understanding the difference between biodegradable and compostable dog poop bags is more important than ever. While both options might look eco-friendly at first glance, compostable bags offer a trustworthy and effective way of dealing with doggie doo-doo in an earth-friendly manner.

Opting for compostable dog poop bags isn’t just about keeping our dogs and their habitats clean. It’s about our commitment to the environment, to our future generations, and to a healthier planet. The choice is in your hands (or on your leash). So next time you’re out shopping for dog poop bags, remember: seek out the compostable logos and make a choice that’s kinder to our planet.

<a href="" target="_self">Henry Reith</a>

Henry Reith

Henry is proud to be one of the crapologists at Oh Crap, and specialises in crap jokes & sharing paw-some content.

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