Shopping for anything eco-friendly can be confusing, and searching for the best biodegradable poop bags is no exception. There’s a lot of terminologies involved with plastic bags and it's hard to determine if you’re getting something that’s truly good for the environment. To simplify things, it helps to focus on two key terms: biodegradable and compostable.
The phrase “biodegradable” is actually a bit misleading because practically everything will biodegrade, at least to some extent, given enough time. In order to ensure that your dog’s waste isn’t enshrined in plastic for the next 300 years, you need to look at how long it takes to biodegrade.
For the purpose of consumer labeling, the United States Environmental Protection Agency focuses instead on what is “compostable.” This involves a complicated mix of factors, but essentially you need an ASTH D6400 certification to be considered “compostable.” Typically, dog poop bags with this certification are going to be your most eco-friendly option.
That said, fully compostable dog poop bags are also more expensive and sometimes harder to find. If you’re looking for something a little cheaper that still has some earth-conscious elements, there's another process called “oxo-biodegradable.” That’s basically when a chemical is added to the plastic that helps it break down faster, usually within a two-year timeframe. This is regulated under ASTM D6954 and, while not quite as environmentally-friendly as the other one, nevertheless improves your eco-footprint.
I’ve included both types of bags here to give you a broader range of options and price points for products for your dog. On top of that, I’ve looked at factors like strength, size, thickness, and ease-of-use when compiling this list of the best biodegradable poop bags.
1. The Overall Best Biodegradable Poop Bags
At 17 microns thick, these oxo-biodegradable poop bags are super strong and won't leak or tear. They glide easily out of the roll and are simple to open — you won't have to shake them vigorously or peel at the bottom to get them started. The unscented, allergy-free sacks are long enough to have space at the end to tie a knot and they feature a helpful circle with an arrow at the top so you know which end to open. They come with a convenient dispenser and, at 30 cents per bag, they're among the cheapest of the ASTM D6954-type bags you can find. Also, if you'd rather purchase a smaller quantity without the dispenser, you can get those here.
2. The Best Scented Biodegradable Poop Bags
It's tough to find scented bags in the biodegradable category, but if you prefer something with an aroma to take the edge off, these will do the trick. They feature a built-in scent to reduce odor and help it waft away, especially as you walk back home with a baggie in hand. Like the other bags, these are oxo-biodegradable and ASTM D6954-compliant. They are made of tough material, easy to pull apart, and don't stick together. Best of all, they come with a handy plastic poop bag holder you can attach to your leash until you find a garbage can. "Who really wants to hand carry a bag of poop home!" said one Amazon customer. "Not any more, just loop it through the poop bag holder."
3. The Best Compostable Poop Bags
These ultra eco-friendly poop bags are fully compostable. Made with a blend of cornstarch and other bio-based components, they're 20 microns thick to spare your hands and prevent any leaking. They have full ASTM D6400 certification and are capable of breaking down and decomposing in 90 days. The roomy, scent-free bags can be used with bigger dogs and will fit inside any regular poop dispenser. On top of that, they're sealed at the bottom to create an extra layer for poop that's runny or messy. The drawback to these bags is that they're more expensive; however, that will be the case with most fully compostable bags.
4. The Best Flushable Poop Bags
These bags are also fully compostable, but on top of that, you can also flush them down the toilet. They come in individually folded bags which eliminates any perforated edges and makes them easier to access. The thick material is totally leak-proof and you can drop the waste in the toilet along with the bag. In addition to making great poop bags on walks, they also work beautifully for indoor accidents and are great potty training tools. These bags are also a bit pricier, but if you want the convenience of tossing your dog waste in the toilet, it's worth the extra cost.
5. Bonus: Dog Poop Bags With An Integrated Scooper
If you'd rather keep your hands aways from your pup's mess completely, this handy little device lets you scoop up their poop without having to get too involved. With an integrated waste bag compartment, you simply put the bag over the device and secure it with the silicone gripper. When it's time to clean up, open the jaws, scoop the poop inside, and tie it off — boom, you're all done. There's an extendable backside to adjust the size and the gadget comes in medium and large so bigger dogs can use it, too. As a bonus, there's a little hook you can keep on your leash so you'll never forget it. Note: the bags that come with the scooper aren't biodegradable, but the device is compatible with all poop bags, so you can substitute your own eco-friendly sacks.
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