Wildebeest's Guide to Poop Bags & Dispensers
Let’s talk about poop bags. We know it's a topic not a lot of people put a whole lot of thought into. Your dog needs to go out and you bring along a roll of poop bags to clean up after them, you pick it up, toss it and you don’t have to think about it again, simple right? Well being in the dog world as a dog products company, we started to see things a little differently. Taking into account things like where does your bag of poo end up after you throw it away, how does it affect our planet, does biodegradable really mean it breaks down all the way, and are most poop bags biodegradable?
We did a little bit of research and found out that one regular plastic poop bag can take about 500 years to break down in a landfill. And in 2019, approximately 500 million plastic poop bags were used throughout the world. Let's just say a dog's life lasts 10 years and he poops 2 times a day (that's pretty conservative) -- do the math and you're looking at picking up and throwing away poop 7300 times in his lifetime -- which also gives you a bit of perspective on how many poop bags you're responsible for sending to the landfill.
We all know that plastic bags are not great for our planet, yet we still use and discard plastic poop bags daily, thinking that they will break down like compost. Truth is that poop bags that claim to be biodegradable may not be as biodegradable as you think. For a poop bag to actually decompose and be biodegradable it can’t have any plastic in it. Most of the biodegradable bags that a lot of dog owners purchase contain an oxo-biodegradable material, which actually can be more harmful than a plastic bag as it breaks down into smaller pieces that doesn’t completely degrade, making it more difficult to pick up.
On a similar note, we also want to address the plastic holders that hold your plastic poop bags. The major change our planet is experiencing is the amount and accumulation of plastics. It’s a long-lived material and takes decades to breakdown, yet seconds to throw out. As of 2020, more than one-third of all plastic was disposable packaging like bottles and bags. So what kind of damage is plastic actually causing you may ask?
- Plastics in landfills can leak chemicals and spread into groundwater
- Chemicals that are in plastics can be absorbed into the bloodstream
- Plastic particles / debris can be ingested by marine animals and cause a lot of harm
- If made to the ocean, plastic can float into wildlife habitats and cause disruption
According to the Environmental Health News, “most of these (plastic) materials are unlikely to degrade quickly in natural habitats”. How does this tie into your plastic poop bag holder ? Well when you think about it, the average plastic poop bag holder lasts about 1-2 years depending on how it wears and tears. When it’s time to replace your plastic holder, most dog owners settle for the cheaper replacement… another plastic holder to last another year or so. As you start to add that up over your dog's lifetime, that’s a lot of plastic holders and poop bags that will take many years to break down or it might not even break down at all.
This is why we designed a solution to help lessen the impact on our planet as dog owners. Even though our 100% biodegradable poop bags are not zero-impact, they're by far one of the most earth-friendly poop bag options out there. It’s made of a plant starch formula which breaks down completely and harmlessly, just like those compost bags you use for food waste (just don't put your dog's poop bag in the compost!). These poop bags are unscented and gentle on sensitive humans and rolled on a cardboard core which you can recycle when you get to the end of the poop bag roll. Combined with our Funston Baggie made from nylon fabric, which is far more compact and efficient than a bulky plastic poop bag dispenser, you can go about your doggy duties knowing that you’ve made solid purchasing decisions by choosing Wildebeest and won’t have to spend more money replacing under-serving gear over time.
As dog lovers, we believe that all of us can and should make the effort to minimize our impact on the planet as much as possible. Doing some research, educating ourselves, and choosing dog gear with more earth-friendly options are all it takes to start making a positive impact today.