Dog owners are major contributors to plastic pollution and as such are bad for the environment. Dog owners are adding to plastic pollution problems by insisting on wrapping dog feces in plastic. Also the manufacturers of the plastic dog poo bags are contributing to the problem by making claims that these bags are biodegradable, which they may be but only after about a million years under the right set of environmental conditions. These false claims are leading to a situation whereby some ignorant dog owners are taking this labelling at face value and leaving used bags lying around on the ground thinking that they will magically disappear. However even the more responsible dog owners are also being misled and are perhaps unknowing still contributing to the problems of environmental plastic pollution by putting these used dog poo bags into waste bins which will eventually end up as landfill. Landfill is only a way of hiding a problem without addressing it. Even the more responsible dog owners they are still contributors to the plastic pollution problems and are contributors to the environmental plastic pollution albeit in a more disguised and less obvious way.
Dog faeces wrapped in plastic will not biodegrade for a prolonged period if at all whereas dog feces not wrapped up in plastic will biodegrade completely with a week or 2 left in the environment. Even Local Councils are contributing to the problems which they then have to deal with by providing and maintaining landfill sites by having outdated and ill-informed policies relating to the ‘responsible’ disposal of dog feces and associated fines.
To dispose of dog feces responsibly, whilst also looking after the environment by not adding unnecessary amounts of plastic to the environment, all dog owners need is a rubber latex glove and a strong stomach. Put on the gloves, pick up the feces and remove it to a hedgerow or somewhere else where people do not walk and it is not causing offence. Then put the glove in a bag and take it home to wash it at a later date. It’s really not that difficult to look after the environment. Unfortunately these days we have become so obsessed with the idea of ‘clean’ and that idea has seemed to have become entangled with the idea that if we package things up in plastic that they cannot harm us anymore. This strategy has become embedded in the psyche and now needs to be unlearnt. All we are storing when we unnecessarily wrap things up in plastic is a future problem for ourselves and our planet. People need to think more clearly before using any sort of plastic and this will only happen when we unlearn what we take for granted at the moment and by being better informed in general. Environmental plastic pollution one of the biggest concerns and problems facing the planet and whilst we may be concerned from protecting others stepping in our pets feces we are at the same time contributing to the far larger concerns of the planet and our own symbiosis with it.
Dog feces degrades naturally in the environment in a matter of days and should be left somewhere where it allowed to do so naturally and inoffensively. This process doesn’t need any plastic in any way and none should be involved or added to the process. Plastic will not degrade under normal conditions. Labelling should be adjusted on dog poo bags to reflect this and to give a proper indication to users of the conditions, time and processes required to fully degrade these bags, so that they are not misleading.