Compostable or Degradable Dog Waste Bags - Which One Should I Choose?
There's a very common misconception today that compostable bags are by far the best and only bag for disposing of dog waste. Compostable bags are indeed very good for the environment, but can leave heavy metals behind after they have degraded. Typically these are made from renewable resources such as corn, which is good. However, by manufacturing dog waste bags from resources such as corn, we decrease food sources from humans and animals, thereby driving prices up in the process. Finally, compostable bags can also emit methane upon degradation, which is purported to contribute to global warming. When choosing a compostable dog waste bag, its best to choose one that has been approved by BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute).
Oxo-biodegradable plastic bags are made from petroleum and will degrade over time just like compostable dog waste bags, however they too can leave behind some residual. They are not made from renewable resources, however, they do disintegrate and will not last for hundreds of years like a standard plastic dog waste bag. Further, they are significantly more affordable than compostable bags and are usually much stronger.
Unless you're planning on properly composting your dog's waste, buying and using compostable bags may be overkill and costly. A compostable dog waste bag costs on average, about four-five times more than an oxo-biodegradable bag. If you're used to paying about 3 cents for an oxo-bio-degradable dog waste bag, you can expect to pay ~12 to 15 cents for a compostable bag.
If you are composting your dog's waste, then compostable dog waste bags are the best decision for you. If you're not composting your dog's waste and just want the most economical, user-friendly dog waste bag, you'll want to go with bags such as the ones offered by Bow Wow Waste.
Both compostable and oxo-biodegradable dog waste bags have their postitive and negative attributes. It's up to your personal needs and your budget to determine which one is the best choice for you and your dog.
DISCLAIMER: Per the FTC Green Guidelines, if your community uses a sanitary landfill or incineration to dispose of trash, then NO BAG -- oxo-biodegradable, biodegradable, compostable, corn based or even paper, will have any environmental benefit.