Consumer Trends

Can Paper Alternatives Replace Plastic Dog Waste Bags?

Pooch Paper Dog Waste Sheets are an eco-friendly, biodegradable alternative to plastic dog poop bags. The paper sheets are easy to fold up and put in your pocket before heading out on a walk with your dog.

It takes a few days to get used to the paper, but they’re worth it if you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

My two hounds enjoy their walks, and we go on about three a day. I always clean up their waste and then dispose of it in the garbage bin in our garage. After a week, the trash gets hauled away and I feel good that the waste wasn’t left on my neighbor’s lawn or my own.

Yet I use plastic bags to pick up their waste. According to a waste calculator from Doody Calls, my two dogs produce 8 pounds of waste each week. What’s more alarming than that is that’s 416 pounds of waste each year. I don’t want to think about the number of plastic bags that I use in a week.

While I try to use bags that are biodegradable, the effectiveness of biodegradable plastic bags has been called into question.

Recently, though, I found Pooch Paper, an eco-friendly paper alternative to plastic poop bags, and the company sent me some to test for this review. You can purchase Pooch Paper as a one-month supply (50 sheets) or in bulk (4,000 sheets).

What makes Pooch Paper eco-friendly?

Each Pooch Paper sheet is made of recycled non-chlorine-bleached paper and measures 12 inches by 12 inches. The sheets are manufactured using renewable energy and are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable.

“Our paper is made with recycled, unbleached, uncoated softwood pulp using a machine-finished, sustainable manufacturing process,” said Tracy Rosensteel, the founder of Pooch Paper. She explained that the unbleached fiber produces a higher pulping yield, which in turn lessens the overall environmental footprint.

Sustainability is the company’s top priority. Its goal is to reduce our plastic footprint and its destructive impact on our environment. Plastics are toxic to most species and can result in the creation of dangerous greenhouse gasses when disposed of in a landfill.

How do Pooch Paper sheets work?

A sheet of Pooch Paper is easy to use. A single sheet holds the waste produced by both of my dogs on a single walk. The texture of the paper took a few days to get used to, but the grease-resistant coating made from corn helps get the waste up into the sheet in just one try.

The instructions say to twist the corners around the waste to contain it before you toss it into the garbage bin. Twisting the corners take a little practice and how much waste is in the center of the sheet will determine how much paper is left to twist.

Ideally, after you’ve picked up waste, there will be a space at the top to twist together either the edges or the four corners. The sheet will stay closed, but you do have to carry the used paper with one hand unless you have a carrying pouch attached to your waistband. I highly recommend having a pouch for used sheets. If you do have to carry it with your hands, it’s not inconvenient when on a short walk.

The used waste sheets can go directly into the garbage bin. The FTC’s Green Guide explains that all earth-friendly products must completely break down and return to nature within a reasonably short period of time. I now toss the paper sheets into the garbage can without any guilt.

No Pockets? Try the Canvas Pooch Pouch

I attach the 3-inch-by-3-inch zippered Pooch Pouch to my leash, and it fits about 10 sheets and my house key. You can also attach the pouch to your wrist or belt loop. It is not only practical but also really cute.

The cons

If the waste I’m picking up isn’t solid and firm, it’s a little messy to get it into the Pooch Paper and twist the corners without a lot of fuss.

The paper could also be a bit challenging if you have a large breed dog. When I’m dealing with a large amount of waste, it can be difficult to pick up all of it. My recommendation is to use two sheets, and you’ll definitely want to have a pouch to put your sheets into after they’re full.

The bottom line

Pooch Paper is the best eco-friendly option I’ve found for cleaning up after my dogs on walks. After I pick up the waste, it easily fits in a waist pouch, and one sheet is typically enough for both of my dogs. While they aren’t as easy to use as plastic bags, their reduced carbon footprint make them a worthy alternative.

Pros: Manufactured using renewable energy, biodegradable alternative to plastic poop bags, easy to pick up firm waste, one-step process to twist shut

Cons: Can be difficult to clean up loose or large amount of waste, requires a separate pouch to carry used sheets on longer walks

 

REFS

Published on businessinsider.com

Pooch Paper is a biodegradable paper alternative to plastic dog waste bags that will help you lessen your carbon footprint

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