Flushable Dog Poop Bags: Are They Good for the Environment?

Flushable Dog Poop Bags: Are They Good For The Environment?

Updated on March 28, 2024

Doody duty is never fun, and it's a challenge to find environmentally friendly dog waste disposal methods that make the task less unpleasant, especially on a windy day. You can make the process a little less icky by using a flushable dog poop bag. But are these bags actually good for the environment? Let's take a look.

What Are Flushable Dog Poop Bags?

Flushable dog poop bags are, as the name suggests, bags that can be flushed down the toilet. These bags are made of a material that is designed to break down in water, so that they won't clog up your plumbing.

Marketed as a sustainable dog poop cleanup solution, flushable dog poop bags are touted as being more eco-friendly than traditional plastic options.

After all, they can be flushed down the toilet, where they'll ultimately end up in a sewage treatment plant. And once they're at the plant, the flushable bags will break down, right?

Do Flushable Bags Break Down Just Like Toilet Paper?

Not exactly. While it's true that flushable dog poop bags will eventually break down, it can take months – even years – for that to happen.

The Truth About Flushable Dog Poop Bags and Your Plumbing

Upon closer examination, the environmental narrative surrounding flushable dog poop bags begins to unravel.

Despite being designed for water disintegration, the journey of these supposedly environmentally friendly dog waste disposal bags to complete breakdown is neither swift nor guaranteed.

Contrary to the rapid disintegration of toilet paper, flushable dog poop bags may linger for months or even years, during which they can significantly burden sewage systems.

This delay poses a substantial risk of clogging and other operational challenges within sewage management infrastructure. New York City's staggering $18 billion dollar expense to rectify blockages caused predominantly by so-called flushable wipes stands as a stark testament to the potential havoc these materials can wreak on urban plumbing systems.

While flushable dog poop bags offer a convenient disposal option, their environmental and infrastructural impact is far from benign. The allure of convenience may mask an underlying capacity for considerable environmental detriment.

In embracing flushable dog poop bags, we must weigh their immediate benefits against the longer-term implications for our sewage systems and environmental health. The quest for truly sustainable pet waste management practices continues, underscoring the need for solutions that harmonize convenience with genuine ecological sensitivity. 

Read: Compost Dog Poop: The Only Guide You Will Use

Do Flushable Dog Poop Bags Actually Break Down?

As we mentioned before, flushable dog poop bags are made of a material that is designed to break down in water. However, just because a material is designed to break down doesn't mean that it will actually do so.

Flushable dog poop bags are made of a material called polyvinylidene chloride, or PVDC. PVDC is a type of plastic that is used in a lot of food packaging, like Saran wrap. It's also used in some medical devices, like blood bags.

PVDC is not biodegradable, meaning it will not break down on its own.

However, it is flushable, meaning it will dissolve in water. But just because a material dissolves in water doesn't mean it will actually break down.

For example, table salt will dissolve in water, but it will not break down. Flushable dog poop bags are made of the same material as table salt – PVDC. So, just like table salt, flushable dog poop bags will not break down in water.

In fact, flushable dog poop bags are designed to be durable and long-lasting. That's why they're used in food packaging and medical devices – because they need to be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. And that's also why flushable dog poop bags can take months – even years – to break down.

You may be interested in: Doggie Poop Bags: All you Need to Know

So, Should You Flush Dog Poop?

According to the EPA, flushing dog poop might just be the most eco-friendly way to handle your dog waste. However, it doesn't say anything about the use of flushable bags.

However, there are concerns about wastewater treatment plants not being able to process the pathogens found in dog waste, so you can't really do that if your town has a rule against it.

➡️ Check out your city law and also read before the pros and cons of flushing dog poop.

Pros Of Flushable Dog Poop Bags 

For one thing, they're much better for the environment than regular plastic bags. They'll break down eventually, and they won't pollute the earth or harm wildlife if they don't have microplastics.

➡️ Check the labels to be sure about that! Remember that not every biodegradable product is free from Petroleum derivatives.

Another benefit of flushable dog poop bags is that they're just as strong and durable as regular plastic bags. You won't have to worry about them ripping or tearing when you pick up after your pup.

Plus, they're leak-proof, so you won't have to worry about any surprises when you open them up later.

Finally, flushable dog poop bags are more convenient than regular plastic bags. You can simply flush them down the toilet when you're finished using them. There's no need to tie them up and throw them away in the trash. This means less hassle for you and less waste in landfills.

Discover: The Scoop On Doggie Poop And Composting

The Cons Of Flushable Dog Poop Bags

While there are some benefits to using flushable dog poop bags, there are  potential drawbacks to consider as well.

Among the challenges with sustainable dog poop cleanup is that some municipalities impose strict regulations on what can be flushed, impacting the use of flushable bags. So before you start using flushable dog poop bags, be sure to check with your local city or county government to see if there are any restrictions in place.

Another potential problem with flushable dog poop bags is that they may not break down as quickly as advertised. This could lead to clogs in your plumbing if you're not careful.

If you have any doubts about whether your baggie will break down properly, it's always better to play it safe and throw it in the trash instead of taking a chance on clogging your pipes.

Also, don't forget that dog waste contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites. In the event of a sewer overflow event occurring, something that usually happens every year due to heavy rainfalls, electrical malfunctions, or broken sewer lines, the untreated sewage spills into the environment.

As you read, the untreated sewage is released before being cleaned. This could contribute to the contamination of water and land, causing stomach and intestinal diseases.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Flushable Dog Poop Bags

As we've navigated the complex landscape surrounding flushable dog poop bags, it's clear that the promise of convenience may come at an unforeseen environmental cost. However, the journey toward sustainable pet waste management doesn't end here.

There are viable, eco-friendly alternatives that not only mitigate the environmental impact but also align with our commitment to preserving our planet for future generations.

Compostable Dog Poop Bags

One of the most promising alternatives is the use of compostable dog poop bags. Unlike their flushable counterparts, compostable bags are designed to break down into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil. This process significantly reduces the waste footprint, offering a more sustainable cycle from use to disposal.

Discover: The Truth About Compostable Poop Bags for Dogs in Landfills: Why They're Still a Better Option

When selecting compostable dog poop bags, it's crucial to verify that the products are genuinely compostable and not merely biodegradable.

The distinction lies in their breakdown process; compostable materials decompose within a specific timeframe and conditions, turning into nutrient-rich soil without harming the environment.

Look for certifications such as ASTM D6400 (in the United States) or EN 13432 (in Europe), which indicate compliance with rigorous compostability standards.

Check out our 100% compostable poop bags!

Beware of Petroleum Derivatives

A critical aspect to watch for is the presence of petroleum derivatives in any eco-friendly product claims. Some products marketed as 'green' may still contain elements derived from non-renewable resources, undercutting their environmental benefits.

True eco-friendly alternatives will avoid such materials, ensuring that the product's lifecycle is as sustainable as possible.

Checking Labels for True Biodegradability

Education is a powerful tool in making environmentally responsible choices. As you explore eco-friendly alternatives, take the time to read product labels and research brands committed to genuine sustainability practices.

True biodegradability and compostability are key factors that will ensure your choice has a positive impact on the planet.

Flushable Dog Poop Bags: Yes Or No?

Some people argue that flushable dog poop bags are actually bad for the environment. They claim that the bags don't break down properly in sewage systems, and can end up clogging pipes. There's also the argument that flushing dog poop contributes to pollution in waterways.

Others say that flushable dog poop bags are fine to use, and are actually better for the environment than plastic bags. They argue that the bags break down just fine in sewage systems, and that they're a more sustainable option than plastic.

So, what's the verdict? Are flushable dog poop bags good or bad for the environment?

It's hard to say for sure. The jury is still out on this one. However, if you're concerned about the environmental impact of your dog's poop, you might want to consider using a compostable bag instead of a flushable one. That way, you can be sure that your dog's poop won't end up harming the environment.


Does Dog Poop Eventually Dissolve?

Does Dog Poop Eventually Dissolve?

Dog poop is made up of solid waste, and it will not dissolve in water. However, dog poop can be broken down over time by bacteria and other microorganisms. So while dog poop may not disappear on its own, it will eventually decompose.

Is Dog Poop Harmful To The Environment?

Turns out, dog poop can be quite harmful to the environment. When it rains, dog poop can wash into storm drains and contaminates our waterways. The environment isn't the only one at risk - dog poop can also transmit diseases to other animals, and in some cases, humans. So next time Fido does his business, be sure to pick it up and dispose of it properly. It's not just good manners - it's good for the planet.

How Do You Dispose Of Dog Poop At Home?

There are a few different ways that you can dispose of dog poop at home:

  • One option is to simply scoop it up with a shovel and deposit it in the trash. This is definitely the quickest and easiest way to get rid of dog poop, but it may not be the most sanitary option.
  • Another option is to flush dog poop down the toilet. This is a more hygienic way to dispose of dog poop, but it can clog your pipes if you're not careful.
  • Finally, you can compost dog poop. This is an environmentally-friendly way to dispose of dog poop, but it does take some time and effort. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you do it regularly to keep your yard looking its best.


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  • Antonella - Give a Sh!t

    Hi Sarwar, happy that you find the article interesting! Let us know what you think if you buy our bags. Have a great week.

  • Sarwar Abdullah

    So much value and effort ! Thank you for your work. I’ll definitely buy these next time! 😊

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