Ask LA Stormwater: Are your dog waste bags biodegradable?

A: No, and here’s why. You need to dispose of pet waste—even pet waste in a biodegradable bag—in the trash. It should not be tossed in the City’s green bin or your backyard compost pile. The reason is, dog waste contains millions of bacteria that pose health risks for other creatures, humans and our local rivers, lakes and bays. That’s why it’s so important to pick up the poop—and to dispose of it properly.

When you put things in the trash, it goes into a landfill. There is a common misunderstanding that biodegradable materials break down in a landfill, but that’s unfortunately not the case. When trash is piled on top of trash, the lack of oxygen, sunlight and water makes decomposition very slow or impossible. Products labeled “biodegradable” and even organic materials like orange peels and apple cores remain intact for decades.

LA Stormwater’s dog waste bags are manufactured by Bags on Board, which recently removed the biodegradable claim (and the additive that broke down the bags) from their product. Customer service agent Lisa Edwards explains that “in order for plastic products to declare biodegradability, they must also be compostable.” That’s a requirement by the American Standard Test Method for compostable plastic. “We encourage pet owners to pick up after their pet and to dispose of waste properly in a trash bin. This is the best way to protect your family, pets, and community from disease causing bacteria that can pollute our water sources and soil.”

When it comes to dog waste bags, the truth is, biodegradability doesn’t matter. What does matter is that dog waste is picked up every single time and disposed of correctly in your black bin—keeping our neighborhoods, waterways and beaches clean!

Get your free dog bags here.

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