According to the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing report, 49% of UK adults own a pet and 24% of them have a dog. That’s an estimated population of 8.9 million canines.
It is no wonder that the value of the UK pet products and services is expected to reach £2.1 billion by 2023, based on a report from market research firm Mintel.
The report noted that more than half (51%) of the pet owners would rather cut back on their own spending so they can allot more for their pets. This is particularly true for 54% of the millennials surveyed. Interestingly, a good number of these millennials also said they like keeping up with the latest pet grooming and style trends and that they would be open to giving their pets “human-style” food. When it comes to pet services, the study found that check-ups and grooming are the top two expenses for owners.
Another inevitable expense for dog owners is purchasing dog poo bags. While it is an obvious necessity, dog mess continues to be a recurring problem in many communities and public spaces. As a way to address this, councils across the UK implemented a new rule earlier this year that fines dog walkers who do not bring enough poo bags with them.
Before buying your next batch of dog poo bags, take note of these common mistakes to make sure you are purchasing what’s best for you and the environment.
- Misleading ‘eco-friendly’ tag. Bagging your dog’s poo is just one step. More importantly, it has to be disposed properly. Inappropriately disposed dog poo bags are an environment hazard.
To help dog owners make an “environment-friendly” choice, many companies have adopted slick wording on their packaging or in their advertising to seem more environmentally friendly than they really are. This is called greenwashing—“the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice.”
For instance, some companies advertise their bags are biodegradable and this can be misleading for customers who may think that they can just throw used bags in the bin and it will ‘biodegrade.’ While biodegradable plastic is supposed to break down naturally, this process can take years and requires high heat and UV light. Even when the bags do breakdown, they leave behind tiny particles of micro-plastic which then enter our Oceans and eventually our foodchain. Microplastic can be much worse than regular plastic, as microorganisms in the Ocean mistake it for food.
When a biodegradable poo bag does go to a landfill, they break down without oxygen and produce methane—a greenhouse gas that has more powerful warming capacities than carbon dioxide.
2. Bags that are too thin. Another issue customers face is the purchasing of bags which are too thin for the purpose. Ideally, dog poo bags are thick, durable and leak-proof. In reality, though, some dog poo bags are not sturdy enough and create a bigger mess when their contents spill over the pavement or worse—over you.
It is not always clear which thickness the bags are, or what that means for you. After all, who wants to be researching different thicknesses when buying your bags for your beloved pooch? However, this does not have to be an overly complex decision to make before making a purchase.
So, how thick should your dog poo bag be? Bags are often measured in microns—which are a unit of measurement; a micron (or a micrometre) is equal to one-millionth of a metre or one-thousandth of a millimetre (0.001mm). The bigger the number, the thicker the bag and the more durable it would be.
Oh, and don’t forget: Consider the size of your dog when choosing the size of your bag. If you have a bigger dog, you’ll need a bigger bag with stronger holding capacity.
3. Bags that won’t open easily. Imagine the scenario: You are in the park and your four-legged furry pal just pooped. You hurriedly bring out your poo bag but for some reason, it’s stuck, it won’t open and you’re deciding if you should lick your finger to get the bag to open.
It’s a gross but sometimes, inevitable, situation for many dog owners. This is due to the thickness of the bag. Simply put, a thicker bag would tend to be easier to separate and open. And while this may seem like a minor factor to consider when choosing a poo bag, it is definitely convenient when you are out with your dog and have the need to use a bag in a timely, discreet fashion.
Of course, just as important as opening the dog poo bag is sealing it. Make sure your bag can be easily and properly sealed, so you don’t walk around spreading and inhaling that unpleasant smell.
Did you know that Adios Plastic’s compostable dog poo bags are fully perforated, so it is very easy to open? They are also the thickest in the market today at 20 microns. Each bag can carry a weight of up to 3.5 kilograms, so it is ideal for heavy-duty canine use.
How to properly dispose of dog poo
Remember: Dog poo cannot be used as compost for edible plants. Dog poo has pathogens that are harmful to humans, so it is never a good idea to use it as natural fertilizer for your home vegetable garden. It can, however, still be composted. Make sure the composting bin is layered correctly and filled regularly to maintain the high temperature. This is crucial to killing the pathogens.
A little bit of composting foresight is also required.
If you are using a compostable dog poo bag like Adios Plastic, you can check with your local council about industrial composters that accept dog waste. You can also home compost our dog poo bags or use a dog poo wormery. Remember to only use the compost on non-edible plants.
If you would like anymore information on anything you’ve read here, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.