The Dirt on Dog Waste Bags

Dog waste bags should never be thrown in the regular trash as they will not break down in the landfill.

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CHARLOTTE – There are many brands of dog waste bags on the market today that claim to be “biodegradable,” leading consumers to believe that they are environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, recent research has uncovered that this may not actually be the case. 

There are certain standards set forth by ASTM International that determine the level to which plastics are biodegradable, and sadly, a number of poop bags do not meet these criteria. Even among the bags that do actually meet ASTM standards, most require a very specific set of conditions under which they can actually break down, like at specific composting sites. For example, there are scientifically-proven biodegradable plastics that are not capable of degrading in a landfill due to compression and lack of oxygen, which is why they should never be thrown in the regular trash.



Dog waste and/or dog waste in bags should never go in home garden compost either, as it can be harmful to humans. Most city compost facilities do not allow pet waste, so municipal yard waste bins are also off-limits. There are actually dog-waste-only composting bins, like the Doggie Dooley, available for purchase. You may also have a pet waste removal company for hire in your area, so it may be worth researching that as an option.

Being educated on both the bags you are using and proper disposal of them is important. While it may take a little bit more effort to try to maximize the eco-friendliness of your dog waste bags, you’ll feel better knowing that you’ve done your part in making things a little bit cleaner!

Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce and the Waxhaw Business Association.

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Dr. Susan Bonilla, MS, CVA, CCRP, CACP
Dr. Susan Bonilla is the owner of the award-winning, Fear Free Passionate Paws Animal Hospital in Waxhaw and Weddington/Matthews, offering traditional and complementary treatment options as well as full-service grooming (at Waxhaw). She is certified in acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy. You can call Waxhaw at 704-256-7576 or e-mail at Hello@PassionatePaws.Vet or Weddington/Matthews at 980-316-4141 or email at Weddington@PassionatePaws.Vet.