When you head out for a walk with your best canine pal, there are a few essentials you must have before you leave the house: Fido’s leash, some yummy treats, and a handful of poop bags. Yes, poop bags are now a necessary part of our lives. Many dog owners have them in every jacket pocket, and they often even make an appearance in the glove compartment of their cars as well. After all, being a dog owner means being responsible for our dogs, and that includes doing our part to clean up after our dogs when they leave a…ahem…deposit in the park or in Aunt Sally’s prize petunia bed. But when it comes to buying poop bags, how do you decide which ones to buy? Though many dog owners reach for the cheapest ones on the department store shelf, should price be the determining factor in the right poop bag for cleaning up after your dog? Does it pay to spend a little bit more for one of the “premium” brands?
Why the Cheapest Option Isn’t Necessarily the Best One
The truth is you really do get what you pay for. Though cheap poop bags are easy on the pocketbook, they aren’t necessarily the best choice to get the job done. When considering your next poop bag purchase, there are a number of important factors to bear in mind.
Among the qualities the best poop bags should have are:
- Fewer chemicals
Cheaper grade poop bags often contain chemicals to prevent the bags from breaking down. This helps to extend the shelf life of the product in stores. However, this same construction also supports long life in a landfill which is harmful to our eco-system. The ideal poop bag is sturdy enough for you to use it to get the job done while eco-friendly enough to break down at a reasonable rate to support green practices.
- Biodegradable construction
Poop itself is biodegradable, and for this reason, it only makes sense to use a biodegradable bag to dispose of it. Products such as bioDOGradable’s poop bags are constructed from natural materials that are renewable. To promote eco-friendly practices, the poop bags themselves are packaged for sale in boxes or bags that are from recycled materials that are free from plastic. bioDOGradable bags go a step further by using a proprietary vegetable-based construction which supports the reduction of pollution and the promotion of leading green practices. Not only are bags of this nature biodegradable, they are also designed to become a viable food source for micro-organisms, a concept which supports true sustainability.
Other popular biodegradable poop bags which are also fully compostable include BioBag Pet Waste Bags and Flush Puppies Doodie Bags. Flush Puppies Doodie Bags are made from a water-soluble material, making them ideal for flushing down the toilet or even throwing in an industrial compost bin.
It is important to remember that for biodegradable bags to fulfil their function they must be disposed of correctly. Be certain to read the label of the bags you purchase to fully understand where to deposit used poop bags.
- Easy to use
There is nothing worse than going to pick up your dog’s poop only to have the bag rip at a critical moment. But it’s not just bags that tear that pose a problem. Some bags are nearly impossible to open, leaving you feeling like you need to have a degree in astrophysics simply to find the opening.
The best poop bags are ones that open readily and are durable enough to maintain their shape without succumbing to rips or tears once filled with poop.
- Relatively inexpensive
Price point does enter the equation when it comes to buying poop bags. After all, no one wants to spend a fortune on something they will quite literally throw away. Still, price points don’t differ that dramatically from brand to brand. BioBag Pet Waste Bags ring in at $5.99 for 50 bags with Flush Poopies’ Doodie Bags at the higher cost at $12.67 for 80 of them.
- Disguise odors
Let’s face it; no one wants to be doing a five mile hike carrying a sack of poopy. Many of today’s leading biodegradable bags are also equipped with natural deodorizers to help mask the unpleasant scent of your dog’s deposit.
Other Important Considerations
The FTC reported in 2015 that many manufacturers of dog poop bags were making false claims about their bags being of biodegradable construction. Guidelines which were poorly defined and unregulated led to confusion for consumers who were purchasing bags thinking they were eco-friendly.
Today, there is a system of measurement known as the ASTM International standards which determines which plastics are considered biodegradable and thus safe for inclusion in pet waste bag products. The best bags to look for are the ones that have earned the ASTM D6400, a rating which is only given to bags which are compostable. BioBags is one brand which has earned this prestigious qualification.
So-called biodegradable bags are often misunderstood for a number of reasons. Some of them are simply not constructed of the correct materials to live up to their manufacturers’ claims and form a part of a marketing strategy geared at unsuspecting pet owners interested in preserving their environment. But others that do meet the criteria established under ASTM International standards may fail to be biodegradable due to the conditions the bags are placed under. Within landfills, most of these bags will not degrade due to the lack of moisture and air in the environment.
Need to buy some poop bags and aren’t sure which brand to buy?
Consider going biodegradable and spending a few extra bucks to get the ones which meet ASTM International standards. The earth will thank you for it!