BioBag Dog Waste Bags

overall rating:

2.25

planets

Lauren Johnston
11/7/2021
No items found.

Clearing up your dog’s waste in a bag and chucking it in the bin may feel like you’re helping the environment. But did you know that picking up your furry friend’s poop uses around 500 million plastic poop bags globally?! These can then take over 500 years to degrade in landfill – that’s if they ever do! 

There are many ‘biodegradable’ poop bags out there for our environmentally conscious dog owners, but you do need to be aware of the many companies that are greenwashing. The Federal Trade Commission published an article warning consumers that the marketers and sellers of biodegradable and compostable dog waste bags could be ‘deceptive’. These misleading labels make consumers think that the item will break down within one year in their home compost pile. However, most bags end up in landfills as consumers do not have the facilities to dispose of dog waste safely and, therefore, do not degrade as quickly as they claim to. 

However, BioBag offers a great poop bag alternative which actually are compostable! They claim that they are as natural as dog waste, decomposing within 40 days. Although they may be slightly more expensive than regular plastic bags, they are still affordable and easy to order through a subscription service. These bags aren’t perfect and there are better ways of disposing of dog waste like flushing it, burying it or using a pet waste composting facility to ensure it degrades; however, I think BioBags are an excellent, more sustainable alternative.

What it's made of:

2

BioBag dog waste bags are made from a compostable resin that is derived from plant starch, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers, making them completely plastic-free. The compostable resin is named Mater-Bi which is produced by Novamont, an Italian company dedicated to polyethylene plastic alternatives. They are certified according to the European Standard EN13432 for compostable products and the US Standard ASTM D6400. These standards mean that the material can fully degrade within 12 weeks at an industrial and municipal composting facility. This, therefore, ensures that consumers, composters and anyone else involved are aware the product can be industrially composted and dispose of it correctly. The packaging of the bags is also environmentally friendly as they are sold by EarthHero who help customers to purchase more sustainably by only selling ethical brands. Their shipments are also carbon-neutral and zero waste meaning that these bags won’t come with any wasteful plastic packaging. 

However, despite these standards promising the bags’ compostability, they still need very specific conditions in order to break down, often at an industrial pet waste compositing facility or a dog waste-only composting bin. Even BioBag states on their website that the bags only decompose in ‘a well-functioning composting environment’ and are not certified to be composted at home. To make matters worse, many composting facilities don’t accept dog waste due to concerns about disease and bacteria or avoid all kinds of bags due to how the material interacts with their machinery. When these biodegradable bags are put in regular waste bins, they end up in landfill where almost no decomposition occurs! Therefore, I would advise you to find out where your nearest composting facility is that accepts pet waste so that these biodegradable bags can actually degrade!

How it's made:

2

Although there is no information specific to the dog waste waste bags, BioBag do give some information on the manufacturing process. They claim that their tailor-made production facilities and machines allow for quick and efficient production of bio products, as well as helping to keep microplastics out of the environment by not using any polyethylene during the process. They also provide images of the facilities which support their claim that they have a high level of quality control and automated packaging so that they are as efficient as possible. BioBag International and their production partners have also been certified according to ISO9001 and ISO14001 which ensures a strong quality system by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the manufacturing process. They also mention that their most popular products are manufactured in the USA with the resin sourced from Italy, with other products manufactured in Slovenija, China and Estonia. But this does raise some questions about the supply chain and the working conditions in the various manufacturing plants as it is difficult for the company to be fully in control of what happens at these locations. BioBag could be more transparent regarding how they make their products as much of the information is about the location of the factories, with little on the specific details of the process.

Who makes it:

2.5

The compostable dog waste bags are made by BioBag, a world leader in providing bags that are compostable as they strive to keep organic waste from entering the landfill. BioBag Americas was originally established in 2002 and were later acquired by Novamont this year – an Italian company that leads the development and production of compostable bioplastics globally. Despite being a small, privately owned company, their little steps really do seem to be making a difference!

In terms of worker conditions, the company also seems to excel. The factories have a Health and Safety Program which is organised with representatives from both management and employees, ensuring that hazardous situations are avoided. They also state the employees are organised in a trade union that meet regularly to discuss any issues the employee or manager may have. This ensures the workforce has decent pay and working conditions. 

Their Quality and Environmental Policy seems to encompass all aspects of sustainability, making sure that they satisfy the needs of the consumer whilst also respecting the environment and various stakeholders. Therefore, this is a great alternative to plastic poop bags – as long as they are disposed of correctly! If you want to be super sustainable, maybe ditch the bag altogether and opt for scoop or shovel but it is understandable that this may not be the easiest option.