As responsible dog owners, it’s imperative that we clean up after our pups. However, some poop bags can be extremely bad for the environment.
Below, we’ll outline some of the problems with traditional bags, and explain exactly what makes some poop bags eco-friendly. We’ll also share some of our top picks so you can clean up after Fido in an environmentally friendly manner!
In a hurry? Just check out our quick picks!
Best Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags: Quick Picks
- #1 Pooch Paper [Best Plastic-Free Option] — These plastic-free paper sheets aren’t technically bags, but they work just as well. Pooch Paper is 100% compostable and biodegradable, resulting in the most eco-friendly option for poop pick-up. The paper’s grease-resistant coating keeps your hands clean and doo-doo contained while helping the planet!
- #2 BioBag Standard Pet Waste Bags [Thickest Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags] — Measuring approximately 23.4 microns thick, these bags are durable enough to handle the messiest poops, while still being ASTM D6400 compliant.
- #3 ZPAW MOKAI Dog Poop Bags [Most Eco-Friendly Dog Poop Bags] — These ASTM D6400 compliant bags are made from cornstarch, and they’ll breakdown in as little as 90 days when disposed of properly.
- #4 AmazonBasics Unscented Dog Poop Bags [Most Affordable Dog Poop Bags] — If you want some really affordable poop bags that are still pretty eco-friendly, these ASTM D6954 compliant bags are a great choice.
Conventional Poop Bags Are Not Eco-Friendly
Not all poop bags are created equally. Conventional poop bags take forever to breakdown, which can lead to over-stuffed landfills, as dog owners will scoop poop at least once each day.
Even bags labelled as “biodegradable” may take a very long time to breakdown, which means they’ll take up considerable space while sitting around inside a landfill. And because most landfills are anaerobic (contain no oxygen), the bags may not breakdown for decades.
Biodegradable Vs. Compostable: Which Poop Bags Are Best?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misleading labels when it comes to eco-friendly poop bags. And when you start trying to select a specific set of bags, you’ll need to understand the key difference between the terms biodegradable and compostable.
The term biodegradable essentially means that a product will degrade in nature over time. The catch is that there is no telling how long that period may be. Most things will biodegrade — eventually.
One biodegradable poop bag could take 2 years to degrade while another takes 20, yet they would both qualify for the “biodegradable” label.
Instead, you should really look for poop bags that are labelled as “compostable”.
To earn the “compostable” label, manufacturers must meet strict guidelines that are set forth by ASTM International. By satisfying these requirements, a product can earn one of two classifications:
- ASTM D6400 (Most Eco-Friendly) — To satisfy ASTM D6400 standards — the most eco-friendly classification for compostable plastic products — the poop bags must biodegrade rapidly in both industrial and municipal environments.
- ASTM D6954 (Reasonably Eco-Friendly Alternative) — To meet ASTM D6954 standards, a product must biodegrade in less than 2 years without producing any harmful pollutants or residue during decomposition.
Just note that even bags bearing these labels will struggle to breakdown quickly in the oxygen-free environment of a landfill. Instead, you’ll need to compost the bags or handle them in another environmentally friendly manner.
Nevertheless, the compostable bags discussed below are still likely to breakdown quicker than conventional poop bags, no matter how you dispose of them.
Picking Eco-Friendly Poop Bags: What Should You Look For?
In addition to finding poop bags that are compostable (as opposed to merely biodegradable), you’ll also want to consider a few other things when picking a specific product.
After all, you won’t really care how environmentally friendly your dog’s waste bags are if they don’t work well.
So, in addition to picking a bag that is compliant with one of the two compostable labels, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Avoid cheap, thin bags. Reaching down to pick up some poop and feeling your fingers puncture the bag will ruin your day, so be sure to stick with reasonably thick bags, measuring at least 15 MILs.
- Pick poop bags that’ll work with your dispenser (if you use one). Most poop bag dispensers are pretty flexible, and they’ll work with a variety of bags. However, some poop bags are packed flat (rather than in a roll), which may make them incompatible with your bag dispenser.
- Consider the quantities offered. If you are going to the trouble of ordering dog poop bags, you may as well buy enough to last for several months. This will not only prove more convenient, it’ll often help you save on shipping costs.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for a low price. We all have budgets, and nobody wants to pay more for a product than necessary, but be sure to stick to quality products when bargain hunting.
Special Note Regarding Bag Thickness: The thickness of plastic bags is often expressed in microns or MILs. Understand that MIL is not short for millimeter — it is the abbreviation for 1/1000th of an inch. Micron, by contrast, means 1,000th of a meter. One MIL is equivalent to 25.4 microns.
The Best Biodegradable Poop Bags
Here are some of our favorite compostable dog poop bags for a more environmentally-friendly scooping experience.
1. Pooch Paper
About: Pooch Paper is a unique biodegradable paper sheet that can be used to pick up your dog’s doo-doo. While not technically a bag, Pooch Paper is arguable the most eco-friendly way to pick up after your pooch. Unlike the other options detailed here, Pooch Paper contains zero plastics, making it a truly sustainable, biodegradable option for poop pick-ups.
Most eco-friendly, sustainable option
While not technically a poop bag, this paper is easy to handle, keeps its shape, and is 100% biodegradable, compostable, and plastic-free
- Made in the USA from recycled, non-chlorine bleached paper
- 100% biodegradable, 100% compostable, and completely PFAS-free
- Oil and grease-resistant coating is made from corn naturally as part of the pulp drying process, keeping your dog’s doo safely inside the folded paper without getting any moisture or remnants on your hands
- Featured on ABC’s Shark Tank!
- Completely biodegradable and compostable, made with no plastics
- Unique oil and grease resistant coating keeps hands clean
- Fold down flat for easy portability
- Some feel that the holding and twisting process can be a bit awkward, especially on walks
- Some report the paper becoming more brittle during colder weather
2. BioBag Standard Pet Waste Bags
About: BioBag Pet Waste Bags are ASTM D6400 compliant and made from plant-based materials to provide owners with a truly green scooping solution.
BioBag Standard Pet Waste Bags
Made from plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers, these bags are ASTM D6400-compliant.
- Bags are made from plants and vegetable oils, and they meet ASTM D6400 standards
- These bags are unscented and sold in 200- or 600-count quantities
- Bags are shipped flat and do not require a dispenser
- Made in the USA
- Extra-large bags are 0.92 MIL (23.3 microns) thick, making them perfect for handling big poops
These are the thickest compostable bags we could find. Owners loved the capacity of these pet waste bags. Most also found the bags easy to handle and open with their perforated top.
These bags are a bit pricier than other waste bags we discuss here. It’s important to note that these bags are packed flat, so they won’t be compatible with some waste bag dispensers.
3. ZPAW MOKAI Compostable Dog Poop Bags
About: ZPAW MOKAI waste bags are some of the most eco-friendly poop bags on the market, as they are made from cornstarch and designed to break down in just 90 days when disposed of properly.
- ZPAW MOKAI Bags are compostable and meet ASTM D6400 standards
- Bags measure 20 microns thick
- Bags made with cornstarch can be composted at home
- 160 bags separated into 8 rolls of 20 bags
- These unscented bags come without a cardboard core to reduce waste
We applaud the eco-friendly composition and design of these bags, and owners loved how easy they were to open. Several also praised their thickness and reported that the bags were simple to pull off the roll.
Since there is no plastic or cardboard core in the center of the bag roll, the bags may not fit properly in your waste bag dispenser. However, some users found after using three or four bags, their roll was slim enough to fit in a bag dispenser.
4. AmazonBasics Unscented Dog Poop Bags
About: These AmazonBasics Unscented Poop Bags are reasonably eco-friendly and come with a very affordable price tag, making them a great value.
- Includes 810 unscented waste bags, packaged in 54 individual rolls
- They come with a poop bag dispenser
- They meet ASTM D6954 standards, and they are 15 microns thick
- Can be purchased in quantities ranging from 270 to 900 for added flexibility
- The bags have a clear perforated opening for ease of access
These bags are a great value for the price and a good choice for owners seeking to buy waste bags in bulk. Several owners praised the bag’s durability and reported that they felt properly protected while scooping waste.
A couple of customers found it somewhat difficult and inconvenient to separate these bags on the fly. Some owners got in the habit of separating their waste bag before stepping out on their stroll to make the process easier.
5. PET N PET Poop Bags
About: If you’re a fan of scented waste bags, Pet N Pet Poop Bags are a great choice, and they’re designed to biodegrade within two years if properly discarded.
- These compostable pet waste bags meet ASTM D6954 standards
- Sold in quantities of 720; each roll comes with 48 individual bags
- Available in either unscented or lightly lavender scented varieties
- Bags are 15 microns thick and come in three pastel colors
These pet bags appear easy to use on their own or in any traditional waste bag dispenser. The bags are pretty affordable, and owners reported they were easy to open and the lavender smell was subtle yet pleasant.
Though there weren’t many critical reviews for these poop bags, their thickness of 15 microns means they’re thinner than some other options. If you have a really big dog, you may want to opt for thicker waste bags.
6. My AlphaPet Dog Poop Bags
About: My AplhaPet offers fully compostable waste bags that are made from cornstarch. The bags meet ASTM D6400 standards, and they are designed to decompose within 90 days when composted.
- Available in scented and unscented varieties
- These compostable waste bags are compliant with ASTM D6400 standards
- 120 bags per package, divided into 8 rolls that fit standard bag dispensers
- Bags are 20 microns thick
Owners loved the thickness of these poop bags and were impressed by their durability too. A couple of customers loved using these bags in their DIY compost projects.
Some users found these bags to be somewhat small, which led them to run through these bags pretty quickly. These bags may be best suited for smaller pups.
Other Eco-Friendly Dog Poop Solutions
If you don’t have a doggie waste-safe bin near your home, you may want to consider these eco-friendly dog poop alternatives.
1. Doodie Flush Dog Poop Bag
About: These flushable waste bags by Doodie Flush are 100% water-soluble and designed to breakdown once flushed in your toilet. These bags are also helpful to have around while potty training your pooch, and they’ll make it easy to clean up any unexpected accidents.
- You’ll receive 50 flushable pet waste bags and an included dispenser
- These bags satisfy ASTM D6400 standards
- The bags come packaged in 5 dispenser-friendly rolls
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
- Can be flushed in any toilet
These poop bags are super convenient for flushing waste after walks. Owners also loved having them around for potty training or the occasional accident inside the house.
Since these bags begin to break down when wet, you won’t want to use them when it’s raining or really damp outside.
2. Doggie Dooley
About: Doggie Dooley as an in-ground waste disposal system you can install in your backyard. Use a pooper scooper or compostable waste bags to collect your pet’s waste and use the Doggie Dooley for disposal.
- Doggie Dooley works like a miniature septic tank for small and large dogs
- Disposes waste directly into the ground with natural enzymes and water
- Has a convenient hatch to keep the odor contained
- Can be installed on most landscapes except those containing hard clay
While this waste system does require some regular maintenance and about 4 feet of digging to install, it was great for eliminating dog poop for most customers. Users loved the convenience of the septic system.
The system does not work well during the winter months, so you may have to use another waste disposal method when temperatures fall. Moreover, you can not install this system if your yard contains a layer of clay.
Properly Disposing of Dog Waste: Best Practices
When it comes to disposing of dog waste, there are important do’s and don’ts.
Even compostable waste bags may not break down quickly in landfills, thanks to the lack of oxygen. Instead, you’ll want to dispose of the bags in a way that ensures they’ll breakdown quickly.
Just implement the following tips to reduce your furry friend’s environmental footprint:
1. Avoid Disposing Dog Waste In Trash Bins
Try not to throw out dog waste in traditional garbage bins as it’s likely that they will go directly to a landfill. Instead, look for dog-waste-only compost bins, which are specifically designed to ensure rapid degradation.
These types of bins can commonly be found outside of parks, dog runs, and near bag dispensers distributed across your neighborhood.
2. Flush Waste with Water-Soluble Bags
Water-soluble bags are a perfect pet poop solution for city dwellers or apartment owners who may not have easy access to public dog waste bins. Simply flush your pup’s waste upon returning home.
Just remember to avoid using these in the rain as the bags begin to break down as soon as they are exposed to moisture.
3. Bury It
Using a waste digester like the Doggie Dooley listed above, you can bury your pup’s waste in your yard. You can just pick up and place the poop directly into the unit or use compostable bags.
This is even easier if you learn how to teach your dog to pee and poo in one specific spot to make potty-pickup collection even easier!
4. Use a Commercial Poop-Bag-Collecting Service
If you have a lot of poop on your hands, or none of the other solutions discussed above will work for your situation, it may be worth investing in a commercial pooper scooper service.
These services pick up pet waste from your yard and dispose of it properly on a regular basis.
Picking up dog waste properly is just one of the many jobs that comes with caring for a pet, but our furry friends are more than worth it.
With any of these eco-friendly solutions, you’ll effectively reduce Fido’s environmental footprint and achieve super-scooper status. If you’re looking for other sustainable doggo goods, be sure to also check out our guide to the best eco-friendly dog toys as well as eco-friendly dog beds.
Have you tried any of these green pet waste bags? How do you dispose of pet poop in a resoponsible manner? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!