Taking your dog for a walk is one of life’s simple pleasures. Watching your pup excitedly explore and take in all the wonderful smells is a joy. But there’s one not-so-wonderful part of walking your dog – picking up their waste. As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to clean up after our dogs to keep our neighborhoods clean and sanitary for everyone.
The problem is, most dog waste bags are made of plastic which takes years to decompose and ends up polluting our planet. That’s why switching to biodegradable dog waste bags is so important. But with so many options out there, how do you choose the right eco-friendly bag for your dog? We’ve done the research for you and compiled this guide to the top 5 biodegradable dog waste bag brands and the key factors in choosing the best option for your pup and the environment.
The Environmental Impact of Regular Plastic Bags
Before we dive into the biodegradable options, let’s take a look at why standard plastic dog waste bags cause problems for the planet. These bags are made from polymers like polyethylene and polypropylene. While these materials make the bags conveniently lightweight and effective at containing stinky waste, they come at a cost.
Plastic polymers take hundreds of years to decompose. And even then, they break down into tiny microplastics that don’t fully disappear. This means the millions of plastic dog waste bags used every year end up clogging up landfills and polluting our oceans and other environments. Wildlife often mistake these plastic bags for food, sometimes ingesting them or getting tangled up.
Some plastic bags advertise themselves as “compostable.” But that claim is misleading. These bags require very specific high-heat industrial composting facilities to actually break down. When they end up in your backyard compost or the landfill, they fail to decompose like natural materials.
So while plastic dog waste bags keep our walks clean and hassle-free, they have a detrimental impact on the environment in the long run. Biodegradable bags offer an eco-friendly solution through materials that naturally decompose in both backyard compost piles and landfills. Let’s look at what to consider when choosing a brand.
How to Choose the Best Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags
When it comes to picking the right biodegradable dog waste bags, there are a few key factors to look for:
Plant-Based Materials Are Ideal
The best biodegradable bags are made from natural plant-based materials like cornstarch, vegetable oils, or cellulose. Avoid bags marketed as biodegradable but made from plastic-derived materials like PLA/PBS. While technically biodegradable, these still leave behind microplastics and don’t compost as well as plant-based bags. Look for bags specifically labeled as “plant-based” or “bio-based.”
Trusted Third Party Certifications Are Key
With terms like biodegradable and compostable being thrown around a lot these days, it’s important to look for trusted certifications from third party organizations. The two main ones to look for are BPI certification which confirms compostability, and TÜV AUSTRIA certification which verifies the bags will fully biodegrade in landfills. These seals give you peace of mind you’re getting an authentically eco-friendly option.
While you want an eco-friendly bag, you also need one that’s thick and sturdy enough to do the job without tearing or leaking. Look for bags that specifically advertise their thickness at 1.5 mil or higher. This means the plastic is 1.5 thousandths of an inch thick, giving sufficient strength and durability. Thinner bags of 1 mil may rip more easily under the weight of waste.
Understand Their Compostability
One of the selling points of biodegradable bags is that they can be composted, but it’s important to understand exactly what that means. Some bags require commercial composting facilities to break down. Check if the bag composts in a backyard pile or needs industrial conditions. Get clear on their specific compostability so you know how to dispose of the bags properly.
Scented Bags Can Irritate Dogs
Some biodegradable bags come scented, but this may cause issues for pups with sensitive noses. The perfumes used in scented bags can irritate dogs’ respiratory systems if they get a whiff up close. Your best bet is to choose unscented bags that won’t disturb your dog’s snout during cleanup.
Dispenser Box Design Matters
Biodegradable bags are usually sold in cardboard dispenser boxes that make it easy to access one bag at a time. When evaluating brands, take note of the dispenser design. Features like small dispensing openings to prevent wasted bags and the ability to clip dispensers onto leashes make a difference in convenience.
Now that we understand the key criteria, let’s take a look at the top 5 highest rated biodegradable dog waste bag brands on the market:
The Top 5 Biodegradable Dog Waste Bag Brands
EcoBags: High Performance Bags with Thickness Options
EcoBags has long been a leader in eco-friendly waste bags, so it’s no surprise they top the list. Here are the main reasons to love their biodegradable dog waste bags:
- Made from non-GMO cornstarch and certified BPI compostable
- Come in both standard and extra thick 2 mil sizes
- Have TÜV AUSTRIA OK Compost Home certification
- Unscented to avoid irritating dogs’ noses
- Fun nature-inspired packaging designs like leaves and dog silhouettes
- Range of count options from 120 to 900 bags
- Affordably priced at $10-$25 depending on count
- Can buy on Amazon or their website
The thickness flexibility combined with BPI and TÜV certifications make EcoBags a winning choice if you want sturdy, legitimately compostable bags you can feel good about.
BioBag: Odor-Blocking Bags in Cute Dispensers
BioBag is another leading name in biodegradable waste bags. Here’s what sets them apart:
- Made from plant-based materials like cornstarch
- Have BPI certification for commercial composting
- Feature an Odor-Lock coating to prevent smells
- Come in fun dispenser boxes like dogs, bones, and fire hydrants
- Range of counts and sizes from 120 to 500
- Bit more expensive than some at $15-$40
- Available on Amazon and other major retailers
The cute packaging and odor-blocking technology make BioBags a great choice if you want to contain smells during walks. Just note the higher price before purchasing.
Green N Pack: Budget-Friendly Basics
For a dependable biodegradable option at lower costs, Green N Pack is a good bet:
- Crafted from plant-based materials like corn and vegetable oils
- Have BPI certification for compostability
- Come in standard 1.5 mil thickness
- Unscented styles available
- Bright green color makes them highly visible
- Value bulk options like 900 bags for $23
- Can buy at Amazon, Walmart and other major retailers
- Not as many specialized features like odor control
If you want a no-frills affordable biodegradable bag, Green N Pack delivers on the essentials without blowing your budget.
Earth Rated: High Capacity and Portable Dispensers
Earth Rated stands out for large bag counts and portable dispensers:
- Made from plant-based materials like potatoes
- BPI certified compostable
- Have TÜV AUSTRIA certification for landfill biodegradation
- 1.2 mil thickness for durability
- Lavender-scented options available
- Largest counts like 900 bags for high volume users
- Dispenser boxes designed to clip on leash for walks
- On the pricier side at $25+ for large boxes
- Purchase on Amazon or Earth Rated site
If you need a high quantity of bags or want to attach the dispenser during walks, Earth Rated makes it convenient to carry and access the bags on-the-go.
Pet N Pet: Bold Colors and Patterns
Pet N Pet biodegradable bags offer fun visual styles:
- Crafted from cornstarch and vegetable oils
- Have BPI and TÜV certifications
- Standard 1.5 mil thickness
- Come in stylish dispensers with colorful prints and patterns
- Range of counts from 180 to 600 bags
- Unscented options available
- Low price point starting at $8
- Purchase on Amazon or Pet N Pet website
- Not as many size options as some brands
Pet N Pet adds a punch of personality with their bold prints if you want to show off your unique style during walks.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Brand
Now that you know the top-rated biodegradable dog waste bag options, let’s recap the key factors to consider when deciding on a brand:
- Environmental factors – Ensure bags are made of plant-based materials and have reputable third party certifications like BPI and TÜV. This guarantees an authentically eco-friendly option.
- Bag thickness – Look for bags that are 1.5 mils or more in thickness. This prevents ripping under the weight of dog waste.
- Dispenser design – Consider conveniences like leash attachment, small openings to reduce wasted bags, and fun colors/prints.
- Price – Balance your budget with quality. Look at cost per bag and order larger counts to save.
- Availability – Pick a brand sold through major online retailers or stores for easy purchasing.
- Brand reputation – Trust established leaders like EcoBags and BioBag rather than untested new brands.
- Dog factors – Choose unscented bags if your pup has scent sensitivities. Gauge bag size needed based on dog size.
- Personal preferences – You’ll use bags more if you like the functional and aesthetic features like dispenser design.
While product characteristics are important, you also can’t go wrong sticking to reputable brands like the 5 profiled earlier. With their positive track records and wide availability, you know you’ll get a dependable eco-friendly option.
Frequently Asked Questions About Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags
We’ve covered a lot of ground, but you may still have some common questions about biodegradable dog waste bags. Here are answers to some frequent inquiries:
Do biodegradable bags decompose in landfills?
Not necessarily. The lack of air flow and light means even biodegradable materials break down very slowly in landfills. Look for bags certified as fully biodegrading in landfill conditions by TÜV AUSTRIA.
Are they compostable in my home compost pile?
It depends. Some biodegradable bags require commercial composting conditions to break down. Others are formulated to decompose in backyard compost. Check the specific bag’s certifications to understand its compostability.
Are they thick and durable enough?
Yes, if you choose bags that are 1.5 mils or higher in thickness. This prevents ripping under the weight of dog waste. Some brands offer bags up to 2 mils for extra strength.
Do they prevent odors?
Basic biodegradable bags on their own don’t block smells, so it’s best to dispose of full bags promptly. Some brands like BioBag infuse the bags with scent or odor-blocking technologies to contain the smell.
Are they more expensive than regular plastic bags?
Sometimes. Basic biodegradable bags can be competitive with regular bags, but special features like extra thickness and odor control may increase the price a bit. Shopping sales can offset this.
Where can I buy them?
Major retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target all carry biodegradable dog waste bags, as well as specialty pet supply stores. You can also buy directly from reputable bag brands online.
How many come in a standard box?
It ranges quite a bit, but most brands sell boxes containing anywhere from 120 to 300 bags. Some jumbo boxes go up to 500 or even 900 bags.
Are the materials safe if my dog accidentally chews the bag?
Yes, biodegradable bags made from plant-based materials like cornstarch are non-toxic if ingested. However, you should still train your dog not to chew bags.
Can I compost the dispenser box too?
Unfortunately no, the cardboard dispensers are treated and cannot safely decompose. You’ll need to recycle the dispenser and only compost the bags themselves.
Do biodegradable bags look any different?
Most brands design the bags to look nearly identical in color, size and thickness to regular plastic waste bags. You often can’t tell a visual difference between biodegradable and standard bags.
We hope these common questions help provide clarity on how biodegradable dog waste bags work and the key differences from traditional plastic bags. Still have additional questions? Don’t hesitate to contact customer service at any of the recommended brands.
The Final Scoop on Eco-Friendly Dog Waste Bags
As pet owners, we want to keep our canine companions happy and healthy while also reducing our environmental impact. Biodegradable dog waste bags provide the ideal solution.
With so many top-quality options like EcoBags, BioBag, Green N Pack, Earth Rated and Pet N Pet, making the switch to an eco-friendly bag is easy. Just be sure to look for the right certifications, material thickness and features to suit your needs.
By choosing a reputable biodegradable brand, you can feel confident you’re making an environmentally responsible choice while keeping walks clean and hassle-free. Your dog will love getting out for daily adventures, and you’ll love keeping plastic waste out of landfills and nature. It’s a win-win for pets and the planet!