Compostable plastic is supposed to be a game-changer but does it work?

For pet owners and businesses searching for eco-friendly packaging and choices, bioplastics seem to be a win-win: you're replacing petroleum with plants! Sounds like using bioplastic products is an easy non-guilt decision. They are considered to be biodegradable. Right? The issue is the term bioplastic is a vague catch-all for a wide range of plastics made of biological materials. They can be as little as 25 percent plant-based. And the lion's share — 80 percent of bioplastic — is not intended to biodegrade at all. Once produced, they are molecularly identical to regular PET plastic — the ethanol used is partly derived from sugarcane. They are designed to be recycled, not thrown in the green bin — or flung in an ocean for that matter. After years in seawater or soil, even a bioplastic bag tagged "biodegradable" was found very much intact and ready to carry groceries. A thin bag labeled "compostable" does dissolve after three months in seawater, but it's a risk. Certified compostable plastic is designed to breakdown in industrial composting facilities in the heat range of 55 to 60 Celsius or 130 to 140 Fahrenheit. There are new "marine biodegradable" options for bioplastics coming from Europe, though certified plastics could still take from 28 days to a year to fully break down in the ocean.

How often do you find plastic, nonbiodegradable dog poop bags discarded on our beaches, lakes and thrown in trees along the trails or tossed to the side of the sidewalk or road? Marine wildlife, birds, etc. are eating plastic waste bags that are carelessly discarded, but the bigger question is, does anyone care? The focus has been on what the last generation has done in terms of destroying our planet, but what are companies and people doing to stop the cycle. We have found that human nature loves convenience. The easier to use, the better. The cheaper, the better. Unfortunately, cheaper usually means made in China as well. Growing up, I was always told if it were easy, everyone would be doing it, and doing the right thing isn't always easy. We need to be better and do better as manufacturers, retailers and consumers for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

The facts are that most dog waste bags do not biodegrade; they are made with oxo-biodegradable plastic and contribute to the plastic contamination that kills our wildlife. The other option is to use bioplastic bags - again; there is still a big argument against these types of products.

Are you even more confused now? The common word amongst this statement is PLASTIC! Confusion about what bioplastics are and do - led California and Washington State to ban the sale of plastic products that call themselves “biodegradable” or “compostable” — unless they’ve been certified compostable to a specific standard.

The big hitch is that — except for some green bin liners in certain cities — even products that are certified to the highest compostability standards aren’t accepted by the vast majority of curbside green bin programs. That’s partly because people dump all kinds of plastics into their green bins, and optical sensors and workers on high-speed sorting lines can’t tell the difference between a genuinely compostable coffee cup from a regular plastic one, let alone a quasi-biodegradable one that doesn’t really break down. Not only that, most cities don’t have a great dog waste program set in place.

Our philosophy is to stay away from any plastic bag material and use truly biodegradable dog waste bags with K9 Clean Eco Poop Scoop Bags. They are made with paper, organic, and are indeed a 100% plant-based product with Zero Plastic! The best option for disposing of your pet's waste. K9 Clean’s mandate is to try and make a more enjoyable place for our furry friends and our children. Help us create awareness and spread the word that there are natural dog waste options available.

Let us work together to create a greener world for our kids and our pets, and reduce the single-use plastic bag pollution once and for all!

K9 Clean specializes in Eco-Friendly Dog Products and we would love to hear from you. If you have some good suggestions or other ideas that you would like to add, please let us know! Contact us at info@k9clean.com or to learn more about Earth Friendly Dog products, visit our store at k9clean.com.

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