Estimates put global plastic poop bag consumption at around 500 million bags per year. That’s a whole lot of plastic ending up in landfills, and switching to biodegradable poop bags may be the easiest way to mitigate it.
Sadly, not all biodegradable pet products are as Earth-friendly as they seem. So before you run out and grab the first “green” poop bags you can find, let’s learn a bit about why plastic bags are so bad (and what the best replacements really are).
Why Plastic Poop Bags Are a Big No-No
We know how harmful plastic shopping bags are to the environment, and poop bags are no different. Once you pick up your pup’s business and throw it in the trash, it will be another 500 years (at least) before the bag has notably broken down.
And that’s just the bag itself. Because of the lack of oxygen inside the bag, your dog’s poop won’t decompose as it should.
In other words, your dog’s poop is no different than any non-organic waste once it ends up in a plastic bag and landfill.
But plastic isn’t the only thing harming the environment…
In many communities, at least in the United States, there are far more pet dogs than there would ever be canines in the wild. If all of that dog poop is allowed to decompose naturally, it will quickly overrun the local ecosystem.
Dog poop is full of nutrition (not necessarily in a good way). It can cause algae spikes in nearby waterways just like livestock and fertilizer run-off. This affects native fish and wildlife populations and can even make the water unsafe for swimming and other recreational activities.
If that wasn’t enough, dog poop is also rife with bacteria. Again, this bacteria leaks into the ground and nearby water sources, harming native wildlife. Some of these pathogens can even bypass water treatment plants, which are optimized to process human waste.
So forgoing the poop bags altogether is far from a viable solution.
10 Best Dog Supply Companies for Biodegradable Poop Bags and More
Swapping out your dog’s regular poop bags and grooming supplies is an easy way to reduce your waste production and invest in a better future for our planet.
Here are some of the top pet supply companies creating eco-friendly, innovative products you and Fido can try today:
1. Doggy Do Good
If you’re on the hunt for biodegradable poop bags, Doggy Do Good is an eco-conscious, U.S.-based company to keep on your radar. On top of creating some of the best plastic-free bags out there, they also donate at least 10-percent of profits to a range of animal welfare organizations.
The Doggy Do Good Premium Pet Waste Bags are, of course, the star of this sustainable pet supply company. These bags are not made of “biodegradable” plastic but are instead entirely vegetable-based. Each bag roll core and outer-packaging uses recycled materials.
This also means that Doggy Do Good bags are certified compostable. Industrial-strength composting can break down these biodegradable poop bags in just 90 days.
But the Doggy Do Good Premium Pet Waste Bags aren’t just eco-friendly. They’re also extra-thick and leak-proof (two musts for any dog owner!).
To clean up after the dog park or rolling around in the yard, you can also pick up the Doggy Do Good XL Premium Pet Grooming Wipes. Like the company’s poop bags, these wipes are biodegradable. While the bags use natural cornstarch, the wipes feature bamboo fiber.
These grooming wipes are entirely vegan and cruelty-free. The wipes are also free of any fragrance and only use natural, hypoallergenic ingredients.
2. Give a Sh!t
The Give a Sh!t Compostable Dog Poop Bags are another example of cornstarch-based, biodegradable poop bags. But this time with some cheeky branding.
Everything that goes into these dog poop bags is sustainable and plant-sourced. Along with cornstarch, Give a Sh!t uses an eco-friendly polymer and glycerin to make its bags.
These poop bags come on rolls and fit most dispensers. The rolls and outer-packaging are made of recycled cardboard.
When you purchase Give a Sh!t Compostable Dog Poop Bags, 10-percent of the profits go to the Soi Dog Foundation, which neuters, spays, and vaccinates street dogs and cats in Thailand.
3. Pogi’s Pet Supplies
Poop bags aren’t the only consumable product in the average dog owner’s arsenal. Named after a sweet French Bulldog, Pogi’s Pet Supplies offers a range of eco-friendly pet products ranging from biodegradable poop bags to apparel and accessories.
The Pogi’s Plant-Based Training Pads are one of the brand’s most popular products. These training pads feature plant-based, sustainable materials, and a honey-based attractant that encourages your dog to use the pad.
Each training pad features several absorbent layers made of bamboo, sustainably farmed pine, and other plant-based materials. They also include optional adhesive tabs on each corner to prevent the training pads from slipping or bunching up.
The Pogi’s Plant-Based Grooming Wipes feature 100-percent sustainable bamboo fiber and are large enough for even the biggest (and dirtiest) pups. They’re also safe to use on cats.
These grooming wipes condition while they clean with the use of natural ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, and Hawaiian ginger extract. The wipes are unscented, hypoallergenic, and safe for dogs with sensitive skin.
While you’re shopping for biodegradable poop bags and eco-friendly grooming products, why not pick up something your dog will also enjoy? CREATURE makes sustainable, all-natural dog toys using nothing but New Zealand-sourced wool.
The CREATURE Eco-Friendly Basics Wool Toy is a three-inch toy ball made of solid wool. The wool is organic and free of any chemical dyes or treatments. Your dog’s new toys will come in a recycled cardboard box.
Unlike stuffed toys and tennis balls, these wool balls are extremely hard to rip apart or shred. Of course, you should always supervise your dog with any new toy to be safe.
Each wool toy is machine-washable and dryable. Washing this dog ball essentially “re-felts” it, prolonging the toy’s lifespan while also cleaning it of drool, dirt, and bacteria.
5. Fresh Patch
If you’re on the hunt for something a bit more substantial than traditional training pads, Fresh Patch might have the answer. This company, which once starred on “Shark Tank” (and won funding for its product), makes portable potty pads using real grass.
Whether you’re potty-training a brand new puppy in the dead of winter or live in a high-rise condo, Fresh Patch lets your dog pee and poo in the grass even when none is available.
Fresh Patch uses only hydroponically grown grasses in its boxes. Everything is grown in California without the use of soil or chemicals.
Fresh Patch pads are suitable for use indoors or outside on a patio or porch. Since the box is made of recycled cardboard, you’ll want to bring the pad in when it rains or snows.
These pads are completely dirt-free and super-absorbent. Once the pad has run its course (they last about two weeks), just throw away or compost the spent box and open up a new one.
6. Lucky Dog Zero Plastic
The brand name tells you almost everything you need to know about these poop bags. Made by a small Oregonian pet and garden supply company, Lucky Dog Zero Plastic even donates one percent of sales to environmental clean-up causes.
Like the other biodegradable poop bags on our list, the Lucky Dog Zero Plastic Brand Poop Bags use natural vegetable starches rather than treated plastic. This means zero plastic goes into or comes out of these bags as they break down.
Every bag is certified compostable and can be disposed of in any municipal or industrial composting facility. They’re leak-proof and just as thick, if not thicker, than most commercial dog poop bags.
One thing to keep in mind is that non-plastic poop bags, including the Lucky Dog Zero Plastic ones, have shorter shelf-lives than plastic products. You should use these biodegradable poop bags within one year of purchase just to be safe.
For a pup who looks its best while also protecting the planet, recycled accessories just make sense. However, collars, harnesses, and leashes made from recycled materials are surprisingly hard to come by.
If you want to invest in sustainable, eco-friendly accessories for your dog, Pawtitas offers a specialty Eco Collection made of recycled plastic bottles. According to the brand, the bottles used to make their collars and leashes are retrieved from the ocean.
The Pawtitas Eco Collection Reflective Dog Leash and Eco Collection Reflective Dog Collar come in several different colors and sizes. Each item includes reflective stitching for extra visibility during nighttime walks.
Not all Pawtitas products are recycled. If you don’t see the term “recycled” in the product description (or the green Universal Recycling Symbol), then that particular item is not part of the brand’s Eco Collection.
8. rocket & rex
Caring for a senior dog or puppy comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is how to handle potty training or incontinence.
Of course, it’s not your dog’s fault that they can’t always make it outside. But investing in reusable potty pads can help lessen the impact on your wallet and the Earth.
The rocket & rex Reusable Dog Pads are a sustainable alternative to disposable training pads. These machine-washable pads can also serve as whelping mats, crate liners, or a protective layer underneath your dog’s food and water dishes.
Each rocket & rex pad is extremely absorbent, with three plush layers and a waterproof backing. You won’t need to worry about Fido tracking urine from the pad onto your floors or furniture.
9. earth rated
In the world of sustainable pet supplies, earth rated is easily one of the most well-known companies around. But it’s still worth mentioning their biodegradable poop bags.
With that said, not all of earth rated’s bags are the same. The brand’s dark green poop bags contain an additive called TDPA (Totally Degradable Plastic Additive), which helps break down plastic. Sadly, this additive is controversial and may not help with degradation at all.
To avoid this potentially harmful product, we suggest sticking with the earth rated Certified Compostable Bags. These bags are completely free of plastic and TDPA. Instead, they rely on vegetable starch and are certified compostable.
Plus, the earth rated Certified Compostable Bags are actually thicker than their plastic counterparts.
10. WashBar Natural Pet Care
Dogs get dirty, and it’s our job as owners to keep them clean (at least to the best of our abilities). Unfortunately, finding a high-quality dog shampoo can be even harder than getting Fido into the tub.
Even if the ingredients of your favorite dog shampoo are all-natural, the plastic bottle it comes in sure isn’t. WashBar makes pet-safe bar soap using only natural, ethically sourced ingredients.
The Original WashBar Soap for Dogs is a good place to start. The ingredients are gentle enough for sensitive skin and help relieve dryness and itching.
On top of ditching the plastic bottle, everything in this bar of soap (including the packaging) is biodegradable. A single bar of soap will also last much longer than the average bottle of shampoo.
If your pup has extra dry or sensitive skin, they might benefit from the moisturizing ingredients in the Manuka WashBar for Dogs. It uses safe botanical oils to soothe irritated skin and condition your dog’s coat.
Finally, the WashBar Paw Balm uses beeswax and essential oils to protect your dog’s paws from extreme heat and cold. Every ingredient in this balm is safe for dogs, even if they lick the product after application.
Saving the World One Walked Dog at a Time
You might not think your dog’s bathroom routine matters in the grand scheme of things. But if you multiply a few good habits by the number of pet dogs around the world, these small changes can quickly add up.
Still, biodegradable products aren’t perfect. While vegetable-based poop bags are better than treated plastic ones, you should still try to reduce their use as a whole.
But investing in high-quality biodegradable poop bags that won’t rip or leak is certainly a step in the right direction.
What are your favorite locally sourced, recycled, or sustainable pet supply brands? Share your favorite companies in the comments below!