I have a good friend that is consistently buying rolls of those blue plastic doggie waste bags to carry around with her when she takes her little dog for a walk. I don’t blame her. The bags fit right into the little plastic fire hydrant on her dog’s leash and they are really convenient. She does the responsible thing and picks up after her dog, but I still don’t think she has thought the entire process through.
According to the Wall Street Journal the US goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade. They break down and contaminate the soil and waterways with toxic chemicals. They also end up in our oceans where they kill marine wildlife. Animals such as the endangered sea turtle, mistake plastic bags for food and die as a result.
According to the S.F. Department of the Environment; Worldwatch Institute, 4 to 5 trillion non-degradable plastic bags are used worldwide annually. It takes 430,000 gallons of oil to produce just 100 million of those bags. It costs 2 to 3 cents to make a non-biodegradable bag and 5 to 10 cents for a biodegradable bag. Personally, I think it’s worth it. I am not suggesting that dog owners don’t pick up little Fido’s poop, but other options exist besides using wasteful plastic bags. One option is the BioBag, a biodegradable waste bag made out of corn for easy clean-up when walking your dog. According to the company the solid waste and the bag will both decompose. You can bury both together and they will eventually break down, or if your community collects biodegradable waste for composting, you can set them out with your yard waste. You get 50 bags in every package and one bag costs about $7.50. The bags decompose in as few as 30 days.
Spike’s Biodegradable Business bags are also a great option. They will set you back $5.95 for 40 bags.
You could use a pooper scooper instead of a plastic bag. You can get one for less than $10 and you will never have to purchase a bag again. Another option is to simply separate the dog waste from the bag or paper your using and flush it down the toilet.
Cut down on the plastic bags you use in other ways. In my house we take our own canvas bags with us when we do our grocery shopping. Even when I go the mall or other retail stores I try and take my own bag by always having one rolled up in my purse. My boyfriend and I have somewhat started a little competition (I am a super competitive person). You should consider trying to start the challenge within your own home. Eco Bags and ReusableBags are great places to find really cool reusable bags, but there are many sites that carry bags. Oprah is also selling 100% organic cotton bags from her site.
Go to Morsbags to learn more and find out how you can raise awareness. They will even teach you how to make your own stylish reusable bag.
Do you use reusable bags?