Are Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags Really Biodegradable? - Sparkly Tails

Are Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags Really Biodegradable?

Aug 08, 2023

As pet owners, we are responsible for the well-being of our furry friends and the environment. One way to contribute to a healthier planet is by using an eco-friendly dog poop bag. But the question is, are biodegradable dog poop bags biodegradable?

Understanding biodegradability

Before we answer the main question, let's first understand what 'biodegradable' means. In simple terms, a product is biodegradable if it can be broken down by microorganisms (like bacteria or fungi) into water, carbon dioxide and biomass in a reasonable amount of time.

However, not all products labelled 'biodegradable' live up to their name. Some take hundreds of years to decompose fully, while others only break down under specific conditions. This leads us to our next point.

The truth about biodegradable dog poop bags

The term 'biodegradable dog poo bags' has been used so loosely that it has lost its true meaning. Many manufacturers claim their dog poop bags are biodegradable when they take centuries to fully decompose or need specific conditions like high temperatures or industrial composting facilities.

Some bags labelled as biodegradable are made from plastic mixed with additives that help them break down faster when exposed to light or oxygen. However, these bags often break down into tiny fragments known as microplastics which can cause harm to marine life and contaminate the soil.

So, when you see a dog poop bag labelled as 'biodegradable', it's essential to dig deeper and find out what it's made of and how long it takes the plastic bag to decompose fully.

Choosing a truly eco-friendly dog poop bag

If you want to ensure you're using an eco-friendly dog poop bag that's genuinely a biodegradable material, look for bags made from plant-based materials like non-GMO cornstarch or other compostable materials. These bags will decompose naturally in a compost pile within 3-6 months without leaving a carbon footprint or any harmful residues behind.

Also, look for ASTM D6400 (USA) or EN13432 (Europe) certifications. These certifications ensure that the product meets strict criteria for compostability, including disintegration within 180 days and no harmful residue left in the compost.

Another good option is paper bags. While they may not be as convenient as plastic ones, they are easily compostable and readily available.

Check out our selection of compostable dog poop bags made with non-genetically modified cornstarch and thicker than the average bags

What are biodegradable poop bags made of?

  • Plant-based materials: Several biodegradable bags are made from plant-based materials such as cornstarch or PLA (polylactic acid), which are derived from renewable resources like corn or sugarcane [1][2]. These materials are known for their biodegradability and are a popular choice for eco-friendly compostable bags.

  • Paper-based materials: Compostable bags made from paper are also a good option. Paper bags are typically made from sustainably sourced paper and can be easily composted [3]. They are especially suitable for food waste and yard waste composting.

  • Bioplastics: Some biodegradable poop bags are made from bioplastics derived from renewable resources like potato starch or algae [4]. Bioplastic bags can degrade in composting conditions and offer a more sustainable alternative to traditional plastic bags.

It's important to note that the availability and suitability of specific materials may vary depending on the intended use and local composting infrastructure. Therefore, checking with local composting facilities or certifications is recommended to ensure compatibility.

While these materials are considered biodegradable and compostable, proper disposal practices for organic waste are essential to maximize their environmental benefits. Compostable bags should be placed in composting facilities specifically designed to handle them rather than in regular waste bins.

Can you flash compostable waste bags?

Compostable waste bags are not suitable for flushing. Flushing dog poop bags, even if they are labelled as biodegradable, may not be recommended. Flushing them can potentially harm plumbing systems, contribute to sewage issues, and result in the bags ending up in landfills or water bodies, where they can still cause pollution.

Instead, the best practice for disposing of plastic poop bags in a biodegradable waste bag is to place them in a dedicated pet waste bin or a composting facility that accepts pet waste. This ensures the plastic dog poop bags are correctly handled and decompose in a controlled environment.

How long do biodegradable dog poop bags take to decompose?

If biodegradable poop bags are made with real bioplastics, as explained before. They will decompose naturally in a compost pile within 3-6 months without leaving any harmful chemicals or residues behind.

What are other environmental ways to dispose my dog's waste?

One option is to create compost using dog poop and vegetable waste[5]. To do this, you will need two composting bins. One bin should contain composting materials, such as dog poop and vegetable waste, while the other should be used for actively composting. It's important to have a balance of nitrogen "wet" materials (dog poop and vegetable waste) and carbon "dry" materials (such as straw, hay, shredded newspaper, or sawdust) in your compost. Make sure to follow proper guidelines for composting to ensure it is done safely and effectively.

You can also consider burying the dog waste in your garden[6]. Purchase a large plastic dustbin with a secure lid and cut four large holes in the bottom of the bin. Puncture smaller holes around the sides and halfway up the height of the bin. Dig a hole in your garden one foot deeper than the bin. Fill the hole with six inches of pea shingle and place the bin on top. Collect the waste when your dog does business and place it in the bin. The holes in the bin will allow for decomposition, and the dog's waste will be safely buried in your garden.

Always remember to pick up your dog's waste, even in the countryside, and dispose of it properly[7][8]. If no special bins are available, take the waste home and dispose of it in your rubbish bin.

Please note that different areas may have specific regulations regarding dog waste disposal, so it's important to check with your local authorities for any guidelines or restrictions that may apply.

The role of consumers in promoting eco-friendly products

As consumers and pet parents, we have a significant role in promoting eco-friendly products like truly biodegradable dog poop bags. By choosing these biodegradable poop bags over traditional plastic ones, we clearly message manufacturers about our preference for environmentally friendly products.

Moreover, by spreading awareness about the importance of using genuinely biodegradable products among fellow pet owners and friends, we as pet owner can collectively contribute towards reducing plastic pollution caused by non-biodegradable waste.


While some dog poop bags marketed as 'biodegradable' may not live up to their claims due to misleading labelling practices or lack of regulations, genuinely eco-friendly options are available. As responsible pet owners and consumers, we must make informed choices that benefit our pets and the planet.


  1. The 7 Best Biodegradable Trash Bags - Treehugger

  2. 8 Best Biodegradable Trash Bags 2021 | The Strategist - New York Magazine

  3. 6 Best Biodegradable and Compostable Garbage Bags - Good Housekeeping

  4. 9 Best Compostable & Biodegradable Trash Bags To Greenify Garbage Day

  5. Source: "What Should I Do With My Dog's Poop? We Asked The Experts" - Ruffle Snuffle

  6. Source: "What should I do with my dog's poo?" - Your Dog

  7. Source: "The 4 Rules to Picking up and Disposing of Dog Poo" - Pets4Homes

  8. Source: "Environmentally friendly disposal of pet waste" - 4-Legs-Good

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