7 Biodegradable Poop Bags That Actually Work

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High-quality biodegradable poop bags aren’t easy to come by.

They’re notorious for being super thin, which can quickly turn a nice walk into an emergency situation.

To help you find poop bags that are both durable and safe for the environment, The Dodo rounded up the best biodegradable poop bags on the web for dog parents.

What are biodegradable poop bags?

Biodegradable poop bags are considered to be an eco-friendly alternative to conventional dog poop bags — but sometimes that isn’t always the case.

According to the FTC, it isn’t unheard of for dog waste bag companies to make the misleading claim that their product is biodegradable when it’s really not.

If something is biodegradable, that means that it will degrade in nature over time. But that could mean anywhere from two years to hundreds of years. And since basically everything will degrade over time eventually, claiming that something is “biodegradable” isn’t making a huge statement about its eco-friendliness.

So, how can you find dog poop bags that are actually eco-friendly? Try compostable poop bags!

Biodegradable vs. compostable poop bags

“Compostable” poop bags are actually more eco-friendly than “biodegradable” poop bags.

If something is compostable, that means that the residue left behind after the material decomposes can be recycled as a fertilizer for soil and plants.

In order for a dog poop bag to be considered compostable, it must be recognized by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and satisfy requirements established by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), which has categories for how compostable the product actually is.

If a poop bag product is labeled as ASTM D6400, it’s able to degrade rapidly in both industrial and municipal environments and is considered the most eco-friendly option.

If there’s an ASTM D6954 label, the product is considered to be reasonably eco-friendly and must be able to degrade within two years without leaving behind any pollutants in the process.

But, keep in mind, if you put any of these types of compostable dog poop bags into a landfill, even if they’re labeled as ASTM D6400, it might take as long as a conventional poop bag would to degrade (because landfills lack the oxygen necessary to help break materials down).

So, in order to help your compostable dog bag decompose, you’ll actually need to compost it properly.

How to compost dog poop bags

The best way to dispose of your dog’s compostable poop bags is to compost them!

There are a few ways you can compost your poop bags:

  • Purchase your own dog compost system. There are composting systems available for you to buy that you can put in your own backyard. Not only will it help dispose of your dog’s poop, it will also keep your grass nice and fertilized.

Just be sure to keep it far away from edible plants. Dog poop can carry pathogens that might survive composting, and you definitely don’t want that to spread to your food.

Try this backyard pet waste compost system from Amazon for $429.99

  • Build your own dog composting system. If you’re game for a little DIY, check out the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) guide on how to make your own dog compost system.
  • Flush it down the toilet. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), flushing your dog’s poop down the toilet is a perfectly fine way to dispose of it. You shouldn’t flush your dog’s poop bag with the poo, however, unless you have a flushable poop bag that’s designed to degrade in water. And you might want to avoid flushing the dog poop if you have a septic tank because it’s very possible you could clog it.
  • Bury it. The EPA also recommends burying your dog’s poop in your yard 1-foot deep with at least 8 inches of soil on top. Make sure to do this in various locations in your yard, and don’t bury dog poop near vegetable gardens or water sources!
  • Bring it to a composting facility. Composting facilities may or may not accept pet waste, so be sure to check with them first before making the trip.
  • The best biodegradable and compostable dog poop bags

    Here are six poop bags you can feel good about using (if you compost them properly):

    Biodegradable dog poop bags
    These bags are recognized as ASTM D6400 and are completely compostable. Considering these bags are made from vegetable starch, you might think they’re thin and easily punctured, but that’s definitely not the case. Each bag is about 20 microns thick, which is pretty thick compared to your average poop bag (1 micron is 1/1,000th of a meter; standard poop bags are about 13–15 microns thick).
    Dog poop bags
    These bags claim to decompose fully into CO2 and H2O in under 180 days after disposal. These bags also fit ASTM D6400 standards and are 20 microns thick. And since they’re made of corn starch, they smell like corn!
    Biodegradable poop bags
    If you want to try flushing your dog’s poop, try these compostable poop bags. They’re super thick and are said to disintegrate completely in septic systems.
    Biodegradable dog poop bags
    Made from corn and plant starch, these bags are totally compostable and can be used in home composting systems with no problem. Plus, they’re super eco-friendly and fall under the ASTM D6400 standard.
    Biodegradable poop bags
    These dog poop bags break down and decompose in just 90 days, which is definitely a lot quicker than your standard compostable dog poop bag. They’re also verified by BPI to fit ASTM D6400 standards and are 20 microns thick.
    Biodegradable poop bags
    These bags also have the highest eco-friendly rating by BPI and are 20 microns thick, and they come in red and smell like roses, which definitely beats the smell of poo!
    Biodegradable poop bags
    These bags also fit the ASTM D6400 and claim to decompose in under 180 days. They are 17 microns thick, which is still thicker than normal bags, and they’re also really easy to use. The sticker used to keep the rolls together has a perforated middle that’s easy to tear, so you won’t end up ripping a hole in your first bag.