Keeping dogs out of vets since 2011

Biodegradable Poo Bags, The Inside Scoop!

a single roll of biodegradable poo bags

Biodegradable Poo Bags, The Inside Scoop!

Nice title, eh?! Seriously though, we know plastic is really bad for the environment. Plastic goes into landfill and doesn’t break down. Or, it does, but extremely slowly, meaning it releases all it’s chemical nastiness slowly through all the garbage into our water table. Not good.

image of a truck dumping rubbish into a land fill

Thus we’re being steered away from cheap, disposable plastic bags (via taxes which, in fairness, is a great way to modify people’s behaviour towards caring for the environment) towards bags-for-life. However, a poo-bag-for-life in the pocket is slightly less appealing.

So we all know we should be using biodegradable bags for our pupper’s poops, even if they might cost a bit more, and the market has responded accordingly. But did you know that many biodegradable poo bags are made of plastic that contain ingredients which simply makes them melt quicker? This means that they all go to landfill to dissolve, albeit quicker than their polyethene counterparts, but ultimately with the same catastrophic environmental result.

So, here’s the inside scoop.

Some Tips when Buying Bio-Degradable Poo Bags…

There a range of bio poo bags available today for dogs. We started off with the stiff cardboard types. These are made of paper and perfectly compostable (should you want poo in your compost is another story). They’re selling at around €3.50 for ten. That’s a spicy, poo-inducing meatball of a difference from the 80 nappy bags for €0.50 cents in Tescos, and for some people likely a bridge too far.

The next most cost-effective are made on modified corn, potato or even tapioca starch. These are great from an environmental point of view but they do not offer the same protection as plastic, they are stiffer and can tear easier. People may live with this as these bags are generally fully compostable and vitally, non-toxic.

This aside, I have noticed that many of these are coupled with “biodegradable plastic polymers” such asPolyVinyl Alcohol (PVA). This raised my hackles. What are these?! I don’t want any plastic.

I called into two pet stores over the weekend but got a few “computer says no” replies, so none the wiser there at the moment. Have contacted the manufacturers of their products which, in my experience, ends up being from Asia, and a complete dead end.

photo of nerdy girl with the caption computer says no

In the meantime, I got to Googling and came up with “biodegradable polymers are a specific type of polymer that breaks down after its intended purpose to result in natural byproducts such as gases (CO2, N2), water, biomass, and inorganic salts”, from Wikipedia. This is heartening.

One supplier, Scot-Petshop Ltd (owners of, which we discuss below) got back to me online with some useful information. These guys supply oxo-biodegradable and exo-biodegradable poo bags. These are not compostable as “they cannot find a bag strong enough for making sure you can pick up your dog waste safely without any nasty accidents”.

Oxo-biodegradable are probably the plastic biodegradable poo bags I mention above. In very short, oxo-biodegradable means that in the presence of water, heat and light of which all are found in our dumps to various degrees, these bags break down into single molecules that are eaten by the microorganisms present, producing biomass (good) and harmless by-products (neutral). This sounds okay, I suppose.

They also make exo-biodegradable bags which are made from waste sea shells (principally chitin) which is combined with a “synthetic resin”. Boo.

An interesting stat is that between 25-40% of their biodegradable poo bags contain bio-renewable content. This means “a substantive percentage of the petrochemical polymers in everyday plastics can now be replaced with a bio-renewable material”. I asked them “does that mean that the other 60-75% is not bio-renewable plastic waste by-product that remains in the landfill, albeit in soluble form?”. Their answer:

Unfortunately for strength and durability plastic is still used and makes up for the other percentage of material.

What are the Best Bio Poo Bags?

I suspect the bio-poo bag world could have a few land mines in it, much like my path by the sea but the single roll types with no ingredients written on them sold loose in pet shops are, in my opinion, to be suspected, until we know more.

I hate concluding article without some definitive recommendations but I really don’t have a favourite. I think paper bags would be the safest but could be a break-through hazard. After that, it is almost certainly the non-flexible biostarch types. They’re the ones I use anyway. Seem to be the best of the bunch. I go by price and will buy wherever but one good tip is that buying bio bags in single rolls or 3-packs is practically nonsense. You know you’re going to need lots and lots and lots. I would go to Google and look for bio poo bags in bulk. I found three or four sites in the UK that will sell to anyone en masse. You might have to outlay €100 or more but you will reduce your bag cost down from as high as 30cents to as little as 2 cents. Find out what they’re made of from the supplier and make the leap.

Share This Article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email


Need Advice?

1-to-1 Online Consultations

Should you need a little hand holding, I’m here to help. Consultations are typically 1 hour in length: 15 minutes to read your presubmitted questionnaire and prepare for your pet, 30-40 minutes with you directly via Zoom / Skype and 10-15 minutes to write your summary email, including all necessary tips and their diet plan. It also includes a follow up email should you need it.


"Finally! A well-written, well-referenced thorough examination of the raw dog food debate. A fantastic gift for your favourite veterinarian."
Dr. Karen Becker


For the most up-to-date advice, support, tips and ticks from Dr. Brady and his team, please subscribe below .

Related Articles

Torn ACL in Dogs
Dog Health

Torn ACL in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Cost

So what is the ACL, and where is a dog’s ACL? The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is located in the centre of the knee (stifle) and is responsible for stabilising the hind leg when the dog is straightening, bending or rotating the leg.  In this article, we will be discussing: What is an ACL tear

Read More »
symptoms of bloat in dogs
Raw dog food

Bloat in Dogs: Causes and What to Look Out For

Bloat with torsion in dogs is a scary, painful, often life threatening and all too common occurrence in large, deep chested dogs . As the science is yet to pin a definite culprit, there is a lot of confusion. In this extensive review piece I present the most up to date thinking on the matter and make some important dietary recommendations for at-risk dog owners.

Read More »
Raw dog food

Everything About Raw

Everything You Need To Know Abut Raw Dog Food In Ten Minutes… Below is a short summary on ten key articles in raw feeding. Each article is linked out to the larger article should you fancy doing a little more research. What do dogs eat? What is raw dog food? The benefits of feeding raw

Read More »
How Much Raw Food Should I Feed My Dog
Raw dog food

How Much Raw Foods Should I Feed My Dog? Dog Food Calculator

Initially, moving to a raw diet for your dog can seem a little tricky. One of the most likely questions when shifting to raw dog food is how much should I feed my dog? The answer can be simple (2.5% of his body weight per day, if an adult) but thereafter the figure varies depending

Read More »
What causes yeast Infection In Dogs
Dog Health

Yeast Infection In Dogs: Causes, Treatments, Foods To Avoid

Extreme itchy and irritated skin with a foul odour can indicate a yeast infection. This is a very common problem in particularly dry-fed dogs today.  Yeast infections in dogs are highly uncomfortable and over time they can cause severe damage to the affected areas. Knowing how to treat yeast infections in dogs is thus a

Read More »
Raw dog food

A Fairly Thorough Review of Hemp, CBD and Ending With Advice for Pets

To understand where we are with CBD, why mothers have to walk the length of Ireland to get permission to use a herbal product that prevented epilepsy in her child suffering 300 back-breaking and life-endangering seizures a month, an entirely natural product that is supported massively by the science as beneficial in the treatment of

Read More »