Freya and I rarely promote products unless we feel very strongly that they are of value to our fellow dog lovers. However, as we feel extremely passionate about reducing single use plastic, we were devastated to learn that the so-called biodegradable poo bags we’d been using, actually take many years to decompose.
On one of our Cheshire Doodle walks, I met Kiki and her gorgeous cockapoo Coco. Kiki told me she too had been upset to discover this, but unlike me she took steps to create a truly eco-friendly product as an alternative. I asked Kiki to tell us about her journey to the launch of Fetch.It.
The Poo Bag Journey
What drew your attention to poo bags in general?
We live in a world where the war on plastic is being highlighted on a daily basis and as dog owners we need to think about our role and responsibility in the fight and what we can do to help. The smallest of changes can make the biggest of differences. And so when we bought our first dog, Coco, last year, we immediately noticed just how much plastic we were using to clean up after her.
I’m sure all of us remember our puppy toilet training days; they seemed endless. Coco had a funny habit of doing her business while moving around the garden and so my general waste bin soon became filled with single use plastic. This was when I decided to turn to what I thought was a more eco-friendly alternative – the biodegradable poo bag.
So what’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable?
Most of us don’t understand the difference between biodegradable and compostable. We’ve been greenwashed by clever marketers into believing that biodegradable is a good choice. However, after reading research by Plymouth University, commissioned by WWF1 I discovered that biodegradable plastic bags take years to degrade and even then form microplastics2 reported to be having a devastating impact on our sea life. Microplastics are being detected in sea creatures:
“They [microplastics] can be ingested by everything from zooplankton which make up the base of the food chain in the oceans, all the way up to seabirds, fish, turtles and whales.”
Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card3. Nobody knows the long-term implications of consuming plastic, but surely it can’t be good!
Alternatively, compostable bags are made from cornstarch. Corn is a renewable resource, unlike the scarce and finite resource petroleum, required to produce plastic poo bags – another crucial reason to choose compostable. FETCH.IT poo bags have been created from genetically modified4 free corn. Because they are plant based, they degrade into natural biomass and under the right conditions5 within 12 weeks.
How can we ensure we buy compostable bags?
When purchasing compostable bags, look out for the logos EN13432 and OK HOME COMPOST. EN13432 means they are certified for industrial composting; OK HOME COMPOST6 means the bags are suitable for home composting.
What’s the difference between FETCH.IT bags and other compostable bags?
Not all compostable poo bags are suitable for home composting! We made every effort to ensure our bags are earth friendly in every way. The ink printed on our bags and boxes are water based and contain no harmful chemicals. The box itself is made from recycled and recyclable paper. And if those weren’t good enough reasons we made sure our poo bags are the thickest on the market, extra strong (due to our special star seal) and extra-large (to cater for all breeds). We also ship in Jiffy bags padded with 100% recycled paper fibre lining and are themselves 100% recyclable!
What are your hopes for in the future?
There are lots of exciting things happening all the time! In the Malvern Hills they have a lamp post powered by dog poo. Owners pick up their dog waste, drop it into the lamp post and turn the handle. The methane from dog poo powers the lamp. I have already written to my Council to consider a similar system and I encourage everyone to do the same!
Will you be making any other dog products?
Absolutely! We have something very special in the pipeline but we’re unsure of the timescales. We’ll update you all as soon as we can!
Needless to say I am now using Fetch.It bags for when I have to pick up after Freya and ALWAYS bin them afterwards.