There are small changes we can make to our lives to become more sustainable. Changing the products we use every day is something that’s easy to do, but can make a big difference. In the pet world, brands have begun to think about how they can create products for eco-friendly dog owners.
Two of the most important dog accessories are toys and dog poo bags like the ones from Beco Pets. These products were previously made from plastic, but thanks to new, innovative technology, there are sustainable options that do not cause harm to the planet.
Why is plastic such a problem?
We are now living in the Plastic Age, where everything seems to be made from the toxic material. It is incredibly versatile, so has many uses but we have taken our use of plastic too far. Plastic takes up precious space on our land, obstructing wildlife and ruining the habitats of many fragile animals. This only gets worse when you think about the chemicals that plastic is made from.
When left out in the wild, it is broken down into microplastics. When it rains, these are then washed into the rivers and streams, polluting the natural waters. Marine animals are then damaged by this too. When you litter that one plastic bag or straw, you don’t think about how far the damage will go. All this litter accumulates and becomes a mass of landfill that is taking over our space. It is estimated that in the UK, we could run out of landfill as early as 2022. This is an urgent issue but there are promising solutions.
Sustainable Dog Poo Bags
Awareness of the damage that plastic bags caused was brought about during the 2015 plastic bag charge. However, little was brought to our attention about the use of plastic dog poo bags. It is estimated that 500 million plastic poo bags are used each year throughout the world.
This is surprising as there is such an easy solution – buying eco friendly dog poo bags.
Are dog poop bags compostable?
There are now compostable poop bagsmade from natural materials, therefore, causing no environmental damage when used. These are made from cornstarch which is transformed into polymers which means that they are still as strong as plastic ones, no matter the size of your dog.
To dispose of these, we recommend making your own compost pile at home and adding your dogs waste to it. You can add vegetable straps and plants from the garden. Getting enough oxygen, heat and water will optimise your composting. A great thing to add is sawdust – it balances out the nitrogen levels in your dog’s waste, making it a nutrient-rich fertiliser for your garden. So, using compostable dog poop bags not only eliminates the amount of plastic waste going into landfills but also creates a useful tool to help your garden.
If you do not have space or time for a home compost, you can dispose of your compostable bags in a normal waste bin. They will still decompose as usual and you will know that your dog’s waste is not contributing to the plastic problem.
There are other types of eco poop bags made with D2W. Normal plastic bags take 20+ years to decompose, but with the addition of D2W, they break down in 2-5. Using this sustainable option means that there are no traces of toxic residue or microplastics. We also want to stress that these bags are no weaker than old-fashioned bags – they are still robust enough not to rip or tear when you are picking up after your dog. You should dispose of these in a waste bin – not the toilet.
The issue with plastic toys goes beyond their impact on the planet – they are bad for your dog’s health too. When toys chew on plastic toys some of it is inevitably swallowed. If the toys are hard, this can cause damage to your dog’s throat, teeth and gums. When there the toys are filled with plastic soft filling, this can also be ingested and lead to digestive issues.
When choosing sustainable pet toys, pick those made from natural materials. A good choice is toys made from rubber that has sustainably tapped from the trees. This means that they are not created in a harmful rubber farm – a monoculture that is damaging to the biodiversity of the area therefore the wider world. Rubber is durable enough to endure your dog chewing on it, so the life of this product is long. This means that less ends up in landfill and production emissions are minimal. There is also no harm inflicted onto your dog whilst chewing as rubber is natural.
Another choice for a sustainable dog toy is one made from hemp. There are many environmental benefits of hemp. Firstly, it grows in abundance, so no farms are needed for its production. It is also bright in colour, so no harmful bleach or dyes are needed. Additionally, hemp is much more efficient as absorbing Co2 than other plants. When your dog tugs on a hemp rope, you can rest assured that there are no harmful fibres being ingested – only natural.
Asides from natural toys, there are those that are made from recycled plastic. Using up waste material means that it lessens the amounts of plastic going into the landfill. When you transform plastic to be used again, it saves harmful material damaging wildlife and the habitats in which they live. Another benefit of using recycled plastic is that it is strong enough to endure a play fight with your dog – giving them entertainment for a long time.
All in all, when choosing products for your dog’s enjoyment, think natural and long-lasting. With natural material, you can rest assured that you are not putting any harmful toxins out into the world or contributing to the rising problem of landfills. Durability is important so look for high-quality materials that will withstand teething, chewing and fetching. When it comes to dog poo bags, natural is always best. But, there are other options that are much more eco friendly than the straight-up plastic bags. These two products are proof that being more sustainable doesn’t have to be life-changing: making these two sustainable swaps are simple but add up to make a huge difference.