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The Best Biodegradable Poop Bags: Planet-Protecting Poop Patrol!

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Gear By Kate Brunotts 12 min read May 5, 2021 2 Comments

Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags

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”.

compostable vs biodegradable

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 Option

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pooch paper

Pooch Paper

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

Features:

  • 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!

Pros

  • Completely biodegradable and compostable, made with no plastics
  • Unique oil and grease resistant coating keeps hands clean
  • Fold down flat for easy portability

Cons

  • 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
pooch paper sheet
We Tested This One!

We were able to get our hands on some Pooch Paper to test it out for ourselves. I’ll admit that at first I was pretty skeptical that a piece of paper could handle my 60lb dog’s poo piles. However, Pooch Paper really came out clean in our testing!

While a couple of other customers wanted the paper sheets to be bigger, I felt that they were the perfect size for grabbing a hold of my dog’s droppings. As long as the paper is centered as you grab the poo, there is more than enough room to safely bring the paper edges and twist without getting anywhere near your dog’s doo-doo.

how to use pooch paper

I was especially fascinated with how the Pooch Paper manages to keep its shape after use, safely containing the dog doo and not un-furling at all as normal paper might. True to its marketing the Pooch Paper remained leak-free, keeping moisture and residue inside without any seepage.

used-pooch-paper

I will say that a loaded Pooch Paper can start to feel a bit icky when carrying it for more than 5 minutes or so on a walk. Plus, you can really loop it around a leash like you might a standard doggie bag.

Because of this, I’d consider Pooch Paper absolutely perfect for walks around a park where trash cans are readily available, or for picking up waste in your yard. However, it might not be best for long hiking trips when you’ll have to hold your dog’s poop for several miles.

Even my finicky mother who is quite squeamish had no complaints about using Pooch Paper to pick up my dog’s waste on a walk.

Best of all, Pooch Paper is the only waste collection option I’ve seen that is truly 100% earth friendly, with zero plastics. For those who really want an eco-friendly, sustainable pick-up option, it doesn’t get any better than Pooch Paper! But you still might want a few traditional poop bags on hand for those longer jaunts.

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.

Thickest Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags

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biodegradable dog poop bag

BioBag Standard Pet Waste Bags

Made from plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers, these bags are ASTM D6400-compliant.

Features:

  • 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

PROS

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.

CONS

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.

Most Eco-Friendly Dog Poop Bags

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MOKAI Compostable and Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags Made with Corn Starch | Large Environmentally Friendly Dog Waste Bags Certified 100% Compostable and Biodegradable (160 Pet Waste Bags)

ZPAW MOKAI Dog Poop Bags

ASTM D6400-compliant, cornstarch-derived poop bags, which you can even compost at home.

Features:

  • 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

PROS

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.

CONS

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.

Most Affordable Eco-Friendly Poop Bags

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Amazon Basics Unscented Dog Poop Bags with Dispenser and Leash Clip, 13 x 9 Inches, Green - Pack of 810 (54 Rolls)

AmazonBasics Dog Poop Bags

Low-cost, ASTM D6954-compliant dog poop bags that come with their own dispenser.

Features:

  • 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

PROS

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.

CONS

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. 

Affordable Poop Bag Runner Up

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PET N PET Unscented Dog Poop Bag 720 Counts Rainbow Muliti Color Dog Poop Bags Refill Rolls Standard and EPI Additive Dog Waste Bags

Pet N Pet Poop Bags

Scented, eco-friendly poop bags that are compliant with ASTM D6954 standards.

Features:

  • 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 

PROS

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. 

CONS

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.

Cutest Bag Design

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My AlphaPet Compostable Dog Poop Bags - Cornstarch Earth Friendly - Highest ASTM D6400 Rated - 120 Count 8 Unscented Refill Rolls - Large Size 9 x 13 Inches - Leak Proof Doggie Waste Bags

My AlphaPet Dog Poop Bags

ASTM D6400-compliant poop bags are made from cornstarch and feature adorable graphics.

Features:

  • 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 

PROS

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.

CONS

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. 

Best Flushable Dog Poop Bags

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Doodie Flush Dog Poop Bag – 50 Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags on rolls with quick Pet Waste Bag Dispenser Doody Bag Holder for Leash – 100% Eco Friendly, Flushable, Ultra Thick, Compostable Doggie Bags

Doodie Flush Dog Poop Bag

Water-soluble poop bags you can flush in your home toilet.

Features:

  • 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

PROS

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. 

CONS

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. 

Best Complete Waste Disposal System

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Doggie Dooley 'The Original In-Ground Dog Waste Disposal System, Black with Green Lid (3800X)

Doggie Dooley Waste Disposal System

This miniature septic tank allows you to break down your dog’s poop at home.

Features:

  • 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

PROS

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. 

CONS

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. 

biodegradable dog poop bag

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!

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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Aaron

HI , thank you this is very informative. Our dog park uses these bags, can you please tell me if these are good, or should I bring my own? https://greenpaperproducts.com/biodegradable-dog-poop-bags-cbd864.aspx

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Ben Team

Those look fine, Aaron.
Funny — you have the same first name as that brand’s general manager.

I’m sure that’s just a coincidence though.
😉

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