Updated - May 25th, 2022
Though picking up dog poop is likely our least favorite activity as dog parents, it’s all part of the job.
We do it because it’s the right thing to do for our neighbors, but did you know it’s also the right thing to do for our environment?
In fact, dog poop is a major contributing factor in local water supply contamination. Pathogens and bacteria are plentiful in dog feces. They can cause illness and disease to local wildlife and humans. So picking up after your dog is actually more than a polite act – it keeps public water and grounds safe for everyone.
Contrary to popular belief, not all poop bags are the same – and what they’re made of matters!
Now, let’s find the best one for you.
De-coding poop bag jargon
Eco-friendly, compostable, bio-degradable, earth-rated, ASTM d6400 certified, and oxo-biodegradable are all confusing words on poop bag labels. Here’s what they actually mean.
- Eco-friendly means the bag material isn’t harmful to the environment.
- Compostable defines a product, package, or material that will safely decompose into a humus-like material to be used as a soil additive. Compost decomposes in a compost system, and many compost facilities will not take dog feces.
- Bio-degradable is the ability of a material to decompose after adding microorganisms like bacteria or fungi so it will assimilate into the natural environment with no ecological harm during the process.
- OXO-biodegradable usually refers to plastics treated with additives that will break down in a process of oxidation and become micro-fragments or chemical oxidation. Metal salts added to the bag materials speed up the decomposition to turn into micro-plastics that remain in the environment.
- EPI Technology means the materials in the bags will break down in as little as 18 months. (Plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose!)
- Earth-Rated indicates the manufacturer made the packaging and the core rolls from recycled materials. It doesn’t include the bags themselves as being safe for the environment necessarily.
- Biodegradable plastic is plastic designed to break up when exposed to microorganisms from natural byproducts. The process follows strict controlled conditions of temperature and humidity in industrial facilities.
- ASTM D6400 Certified is the standard specification for solid material biodegradation when used in labeling.
What makes a “good” dog poop bag?
When choosing a poop bag, the best ones are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. However, you also want strong, leakproof bags that won’t break before you can get them in the garbage. You may also want a bag dispenser or even opaque bags so everyone you pass doesn’t have to see the evidence.
Where you’ll use the bags is also important. If you’re typically cleaning up your dog’s waste in your yard or neighborhood, an unscented bag that won’t rip will usually suffice. However, if you’re cleaning up your dog’s waste on long walks then carrying it home, you may want a bag that’s lavender scented, or has easy-tie handles that make closing it easier.
Keeping all of this in mind, we came up with a list of the best dog poop bags that will benefit you, your dog, and the environment.
Which dog poop bags are best?
These bags are home compostable and made with 38% eco-friendly plant-based materials (corn starch and other bio-based components). The bags are large enough to accommodate a giant or large breed dog’s waste and extra thick material to avoid tears and punctures.
Unscented, with large handles and easy tear perforations, this bag comes highly rated by dog parents. The standard package holds 60 bags and the company donates a portion of the proceeds of the sale of them to reputable animals rescues and no-kill shelters. They are also ASTM D6400 certified.
Extra thick and guaranteed leakproof, 180 heavy duty bags come in each package, with 15 bags per roll. The lavender scent is not overpowering, but strong enough to keep the smell away while you’re walking your canine companion.
The packaging and cores were constructed from recycled materials, but the plastic is not environmentally friendly nor biodegradable dog poop bags, unfortunately. The company offers a more expensive plant-based bag and a bag dispenser that attaches to a leash. They also donate proceeds from sales to rescues and shelters and support animal-friendly fundraising efforts.
If a sturdy bag that keeps your hands clean and holds a large amount of waste is your goal, customers rave about these bags.
Complete with a dispenser and a leash tie. These bags are strong, made with EPI Technology plastic, and BPA-free. They are unscented and opaque to hide the contents they carry. Packaged with recyclable materials and coreless rolls, the bags are leakproof and the standard 9” x 13” with a package count of 1000 bags.
These plant-based bags are home-compostable with exceptional strength and tear resistance. They claim to hold up to 11 lbs of waste and fit into most standard dispensers, with customers saying they’re stronger than they seem.
Packaged in recycled material with 240 bags per package, each roll includes 16 bags of standard size poop bags.
These bags are smaller at just 7” x 3”, so great for small dogs, but not for large dogs. However, there’s a lot to like and appreciate in these bags.
Made from 100% eco-friendly materials, constructed from Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), and water soluble, these dog poop bags are acceptable for flushing, trashing, or composting. The material is septic tank friendly, and the bags are roomy, leakproof, and odor-blocking.
This package contains 50 rolls and is more expensive than some biodegradable bags. It comes with a dispenser to hook to a dog leash too. If you’re looking to go 100% green, these fit the bill.
100% OXO-biodegradable. ASTM D6400 compliant bags fit most standard dog poop dispensers. These bags are not huge at 9” x 4”, but they are sturdy and leakproof, unscented, and have an easy tear-off design.
This package includes 24 rolls for a total of 360 bags and a free dispenser.
Pogi’s bags are OXO-biodegradable, of the smaller 7” x 7” size (larger bags are available), and extra sturdy. The package contains 50 rolls for 750 bags and two dispensers, making it attractive for multiple dog households.
Users love these biobags, saying they are sturdy and even though unscented, hide the smell of the contents well. There is a bag option that offers long handles for tying bags as well.
These sturdy unscented polyethylene bags with EPI components are strong, with an economical price point for those who go through a lot of bags.
They are of standard size at 9” x 13”, and come with a dispenser and carabiner-style leash or bag holder attachment.
When keeping your hands clean is your top priority, the Mutt Mitt is the choice for you! These are 2-ply bags large enough for the biggest of messes.
The 100 unscented bags in each package are extra-thick, sturdy bags made to resist punctures and leaks. The bags won’t decrease your dog’s eco-footprint, but they’ll keep your hands clean.
Order these bags and you’ll get 240 eco-friendly, plant-based compostable, and bio-degradable standard-sized bags.
Certified compostable, the bags are made from cornstarch to be composted at home or at a compost facility.
These 100% earth-friendly dog waste bags are a hit with dog parents everywhere and are very economically priced.
How to dispose of pet waste bags
The golden question that not enough people ask is, “How do I dispose of dog poop bags?”
Dog waste is loaded with bacteria that can cause illness and disease to animals and humans. It’s not something to leave sitting around your yard or in the community park.
Getting rid of it seems easy, but there are specific ways to rid yourself of poop bags that are more environmentally friendly than dropping it in the nearest trash can. Here are some ideas:
Flush it: This is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of dog poop. There are flushable bags, or empty the non-flushable bag into the toilet and send it on its way to the sewage treatment plant. Most flushable bags are also septic tank safe.
Compost it: You don’t want to use dog poop as fertilizer as you would cow or chicken manure. Composting it with vegetable scraps might work, but you wouldn’t really want any bacteria from the poop in your vegetable garden, only for landscaping purposes.
Trash: Double bag it when you toss it into the can, and realize it goes to the landfill, which may not allow it to break down as quickly as other methods of disposal.
Bury it: There are in-ground disposal bins designed to act like a doggy poop septic tank. Doggie Dooley is a good example. If that isn’t for you, make sure you bury it at least 12 inches down and cover it well. The bacteria will remain, so you want it deep so your pets will keep out of it.
At the end of the day, if you do your research and responsibly dispose of your dog poops bags, most bags will get the job done. We hope our guide helps you find the right ones for you and your pup!When shopping for any product for your precious pup, their health and happiness is always your top priority. At Pumpkin, pets’ health and happiness are our priority, too! That’s why Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans help pay back 90% of eligible vet bills – so you can worry less about cost, and more about care.