The 6 Best Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags Australia: Tested 2023
Every responsible pet parent knows that picking up after their dog must be done. However, packing dog waste into plastic bags is not very environmentally friendly. Unless you use biodegradable dog poop bags.
With so many manufacturers claiming their bags are safe for the environment, picking the best ones is a difficult task. But don't worry! Our expert team have gathered various brands in Australia to test their biodegradable poop bags with the help of independent canine behaviourists, professional dog walkers, and pet parents alike. After several months of research and plenty of conjecture, we finally came up with a list of the best eco-friendly bags.
In this article, we'll cover what features to look for and which are some of the best biodegradable dog poop bags Australia has to offer. So read on!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
PET N PET Poop Bags Compostable Poop Bags
- Slightly larger than standard bags
- Easy tear perforation
- Sold in either 120 or 240 packs
Runner Up -
Beco Pets Bags Travel Pack
- Very thick and leak-proof
- Fully compostable within 3 months
- A percentage of the profit goes to animal charities
Third Choice -
Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags
- Come in both scented and unscented version
- The scented version has a strong, neutralising odour
- Comes in large packages
Australia's Best Biodegradable & Eco Friendly Dog Poop Bags Reviewed
Now that you know the most important features of biodegradable dog poop bags, as well as what standards they should comply with, here’s our list of the best dog waste bags on the market. These are the reliable baggies that our team of independent experts could all agree made the task of cleaning up after their fur baby easier.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
These poop bags by PET N PET are a great option for environmentally conscious pet pawrents. They’re made of cornstarch bio-material, which means they can be composted in home and industrial composting facilities. These bags meet the ASTM D6954 standard in the US and EN13432 standards in Europe. Within the time frame of 90 to 180 days, these bags turn into water and carbon dioxide. Even the paper tube is made of 100% recycled paper.
These bags are 23 cm x 33 cm in size, so they’re suitable even for large dogs like Great Danes. They can hold up to 1 kg of dog poop! When packed, the roll is standard-sized, so it can fit into any standard bag holder. These bags are 17 microns thick, which means they’re tough and completely leak-proof. Unlike our number three option ahead, these are scent-free, yet thanks to the thickness, I was very happy to discover that they keep the odour inside.
Unlike other bags that can take years to decompose, PET N PET bags are made from exceptional plant-based materials that break down quickly, making them a reliable and responsible choice, and they are larger than usual bags.
The PET N PET Poop Bags Compostable Poop Bags being tested by our independent expert team.
Usually, removing the sticker on the roll ends up tearing the first bag. But, that’s not the case here, as the sticker itself is serrated down the middle. In fact, all the bags have a unique tear perforation and an arrow pointing at the opening, so they’re easy to tear off, open and detach from the roll.
Every member of our panel of independent experts loved how PET N PET bags not only demonstrate environmental consciousness but are also incredibly durable in a way that sets them apart from other biodegradable alternatives. We are confident that pet owners in Australia will discover that PET N PET bags are the ideal choice for their furry companions and the environment.
If you're like me and own a big pooch, then you probably know the struggle of using bags that are too thin to hold your dog’s number two. Unfortunately, most brands make poop bags in universal thickness, which are often not enough to pick up after your gentle giant. Well, that’s not the case with these bags from Beco Pets.
These extra-thick bags are made with cornstarch, a compostable material that has the strength of plastic, but without any negative environmental impact. You can place these bags into any well-managed compost. They’re certified compostable by both European and Australian standards. They’re unscented, but similar to our number one option, are thick enough to not let the odour come through. They come in dog poop bags bulk of 60 bags, which can last you up to two months.
The difference between the previous brand and the Beco Pets Bags Travel Pack is that it is better in its use of sustainable materials and innovative design. Our panel of independent experts were happy to note that the design makes it incredibly easy to use and dispose of these baggies.
Moreover, the affordability of these bags is unbeatable, especially considering their thick and leak-proof material.
The Beco Pets Bags Travel Pack being tested by our independent expert team.
Aside from caring about the environment, it’s worth noting that this brand cares about animals around the globe, too. Beco Pets donates 5% of its profits toward charities and causes that help all kinds of animals all over the world.
What we love about this brand is its commitment to giving back and helping the animal society through its products. Plus, they are committed to reducing plastic waste and offer a cost-effective solution for pet owners looking to make sustainable choices.
No matter how much we love our dogs, we all can agree that no poop smells like roses. And we all have to get real close and personal when picking their business up. But luckily, scented bags can make our job easier. And these bags by Earth Rated smell like lavender! But, if you’re not a fan of scented bags, they do have an unscented version too.
The secret behind the strong lavender scent these bags have is simple. More than 60% of lavender odour is naturally sourced from essential oils, while the rest is a binding agent that helps the scent stay on the bag.
Unlike our second choice by Beco Pets, which has unscented poop bags, Earth Rated offers a lavender-scented option for those who want to have a pleasant-smelling environment. Whether we like it or not, there are instances that our dog's poop produces such a strong odour, especially if they have eaten something that upsets their stomach.
The Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags being tested by our independent expert team.
As for the packaging, these bags come in either eight or 18 rolls. Each roll contains 15 bags, which should last you a week or two. They’re standard sized and fit into most bag dispensers. These bags are 15 microns thick and can hold a heavy poop without worries of being torn.
These bags contain the Totally Degradable Plastic Additive (made by EPI), meaning they’re oxo-biodegradable. They will degrade within two years when exposed to heat, oxygen, agitation and moisture.
Our team of independent experts all love how this brand pays premium attention to detail that they only use recycled materials for their packaging and inner roll cores, which is plus for us in choosing an environment-friendly product.
If you’re looking for high-quality biodegradable poop bags and want to support a small Australian brand at the same time, then look no further than these bags by Zenify Pets. This brand is a family-owned business and based in Sydney. I love how they also regularly donate to pet shelters throughout Australia.
Compared to the previous bag by Earth Rated, this bag has a bigger size which can hold more poop and ensure a mess-free experience for pet owners. Also, it decomposes within 90 days, which is faster than Earth Rated, which takes up to two years.
These poop bags come in a packaging of four rolls, which sums up to 60 bags. They’re 38 cm x 24 cm large, so they can hold big poops too. These bags feature a leak-proof star gusset base and they’re strong and thick enough to withstand the weight of your pooch’s “business.” They also have handles that are easy to tie and carry.
These poop bags are made of plants and printed with soy-based ink, which means they’re 100% biodegradable. These bags are certified to US, European and Australian home composting standards. This means you can dispose of them in general waste bins, industrial composting facilities or even your home poop composter. They’ll break down within the time frame of 90 days. Another great thing about these bags is that the packaging is also consciously made. This means that both the roll core and the box they come in are recyclable.
What everyone on our team of independent experts also loved about this brand is they also support dog shelters. They share some of their profit with those dogs in need, which is a plus for a brand that also cares for our pets and for the environment.
Another reason why we included this brand is that they're not only tough and long-lasting but also really fashionable. These bags are available in a variety of stylish colours and patterns, allowing pet owners to choose a design that matches their personal style.
Having a poop bag that’s too small is quite a problem. But, having one that’s too big can also be annoying. Is there a middle ground? Yes, which is a bag with gussets, like the one made by Planet Poop.
These bags are standard in dimensions, yet they feature gussets which allows you to pack quite a large number two made by your pooch. In fact, you can even use them to clean up cat litter. These bags are 20 microns thick, which is more than standard poop bags and thicker than others on this list. They also have handles, which allow you to carry them easily, and also properly lock in odour and avoid contaminating your hands by accident.
Out of all the bags, our panel of pros could all agree that this one is a winner in terms of thickness. However, the thickness of their pet waste bags is purely made from vegetable-based materials and does not contain any GMOs or any other harmful substances.
The Planet Poop Compostable Bags being tested by our independent expert team.
Planet Poop bags are made of natural ingredients like cornstarch, cassava and other renewable resources. Because of that, they break down into water, CO2 and biomass in approximately three months from the disposal date.
These bags are sold in 60, 120, 200 and 240 packs, so you can buy only as many as you need. Considering they’re made of plant-based ingredients, they should be used within one year of purchase.
We highly appreciate this brand because, without fail, each month, Planet Poop sends money to Mission Pawsible to support their efforts to save dogs in need and find them new homes in Bali, Indonesia. Aside from their efforts of providing us with one of the best eco-friendly dog poop bags and helping the environment, they also care for other animals.
Most poop bags are packed as rolls that fit into bag dispensers, but for bags that you use at home, these are not as practical. A pantry box that works on the same principle as a tissue box, would be great for home conditions. Just like this packaging from Pogi’s pet Supplies.
Unlike Planet Poop bags, these come in a single large roll of 500 bags. They’re 23 cm x 34 cm in dimension, similar to our number one choice by PET N PET, which also means they’re suitable for dogs of all sizes. These bags are thick, sturdy and leak-proof, so there’s no worrying about making a mess when picking up your dog’s poop.
The Pogi’s Poop Bags being tested by our independent expert team.
These bags are made with EPI technology, which is an additive that helps break down plastic bags within a much shorter timeframe. According to the manufacturer, these bags will fully degrade within 18 months.
If you simply can’t stand the smell of dog poop, these bags come in both scented and unscented versions. The former has a fresh powder scent that completely neutralises the odour coming out of the bag, you might even forget what you’re carrying. And, if you end up not being content with the product, this brand offers a 30-day no-hassle return policy, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Our team of independent experts all loved how the bags are easy to separate. You can quickly take one or more from Pogi's Dispensing Box on your way out. The opening side of their dog waste bags is clearly marked, and they detach easily from the roll.
Another thing that we like about this brand is that we can pick up poop with complete confidence knowing that these bags won't break or tear, even after being carried for a long period of time.
In my home, I also appreciated how these bags prevented our trash can from ever smelling like dog poop.
Just because these bags are intended for collecting dog poop, it doesn’t mean they have to be boring. At least that’s what BarkBox had in mind when designing these bags.
The first thing you notice about these bags is that each has a dog-related pun written on it. “Do your civic doody” or “I love it when you call me big poopa” are just some of many clever wordplays you can read as you pick up after your dog. Like our number three choice, each roll contains 15 bags, and you’ll surely laugh using each of them.
This bag stands out in terms of its design. Too many bags were see-through, giving us the impression that we were literally picking up poop. However, this brand upgrades that into these creative puns, allowing us to have fun while doing our fur parent duties.
The BarkBox Dog Waste Poop Bags being tested by our independent expert team.
These poop bags come in a cardboard packaging of 20 standard-sized rolls. They’re convenient and easy to tear. They’re also oxo-biodegradable and comply with ASTM D6954 standard. They’re unscented, but decently thick so no smell comes through.
These humorous bags surely lightened up the tedious task of picking up my dog’s number two! But, if you find them not up to your liking for whatever reason, this brand offers a money-back guarantee.
Our independent expert team recommends this one if you want a bag that would be fun to take to the dog park and wouldn't leak. We appreciate how this brand worked hard to make one that met both criteria.
Also, we love how this bag is large enough for even the biggest of poopers. It is extremely resistant to tearing or poking, and once tied, it is leak and odour-proof! Plus, more can be purchased at a low cost.
It's Illegal In Australia To Not Pick Up Your Dogs Poo
According to Animal Medicine Australia, there are more than 5 million dogs in the country. If you take into account that each dog produces around 340 grams of poop daily, it turns out that there are 1,734 tonnes of dog waste produced every day - yes we did the maths!
So imagine what would happen if no one would pick up after their dog. And to make sure that doesn’t happen, our government ratified the Litter Act back in 1979, which allows them to fine dog owners $200 for not picking up their pooch’s dump.
What I Look For In Dog Poop Bags
When buying dog poo bags, our panel of independent experts quickly noticed that there are a few things to look out for. Here's what we suggest:
The most important thing a dog poop bag should do is keep the poop inside. This means it can’t leak or tear under weight. The last thing you want is to end up with your pooch’s business dripping from the bag, especially if you’re out for a walk. To avoid that, make sure to find bags that are at least 15 microns thick.
Most poop bags are around 30 cm long and 20 cm wide. These are suitable for both small and large dogs and can fit into most bag dispensers. If you already own one, make sure to find bags that can fit well inside. However, if you’re buying bags that you’ll use around your backyard, you can get bigger options that come in a paper box instead.
Related: The Best Dog Poop Bag Holders
Depending on your dog’s bowel movement, quantity can be a rather important factor when buying poop bags. Usually, bag rolls contain 15 bags, but you can buy packaging of anywhere from four to 24 rolls. If your dog does number two more than once a day, investing in a large packaging might be a good idea.
Related: Why Does Your Dog Eat Their Poop?
Biodegradable VS Compostable - What’s The Difference?
Choosing biodegradable bags over regular ones sounds like an environmentally friendly thing to do, right? Well, the situation is not as simple as you might think.
Related: Can You Compost Dog Poo?
The term “biodegradable” means that something will break down over time. But isn’t that the case with just about anything? If you think about it, regular plastic will degrade over time - sure, it might take more than 1,000 years, but saying it will break down eventually is not untrue.
Well, the same goes for biodegradable poop bags. Manufacturers often use this term as a marketing trick, and they’re not lying, per se (1). But, they also usually avoid specifying how long it will take for their bags to fully decompose.
“Biodegradability is the most used and abused term. The word carries little regulatory oversight, and when slapped on products, it can leave customers thinking their purchase leaves a smaller impact on the environment than it does.“ - Ramani Narayan, Chemical Engineer at Michigan State University
Does that mean biodegradable poop bags are bad for the environment? Not all of them. There are certain standards these products must fulfil, and that’s what you should look for when buying them.(2)
ASTM D6400 standard requires poop bags to biodegrade rapidly in both industrial and municipal environments. Its Australian equivalent is AS 4736 and it requires 90% of the product to biodegrade within 180 days. Bags that fulfil this standard are considered compostable.
ASTM D6954 standard requires a product to biodegrade in less than two years without creating any harmful pollutants or residue during the process. This is a reasonable eco-friendly alternative that Australia adopted from the US.
When looking for eco-friendly doggy poo bags, those that comply with the first standard are the best choice, but they’re also more expensive. If price is an issue, oxo-biodegradable bags are a decent second option, however, this means that the product simply degrades but does not decompose fully. (3)
My Final Verdict
Although it doesn’t seem that way, picking the best biodegradable poop bags for your pooch is quite a difficult task. There are so many factors to consider, including size, thickness and the ability to degrade over time.
Overall, our team of independent experts could agree that PET N PET bags are the best option on the market. We recommend them because they’re scent-free, large and thick enough to hold poop, regardless of your dog’s size. And most importantly, they fully decompose within two months. The sooner, the better for our environment.
Dog poo doesn’t simply vanish. Instead, it stays there until the rain washes it off and it eventually gets into rivers, groundwaters and other sources used for water supply. Dog poop can contain all kinds of parasites ranging from parvo to salmonella. What’s worse, these pathogens can lay eggs that stay in the soil for years to come (4).
Dog poop is organic waste, meaning it can be composted. It will take around 1 year for it to fully decompose and kill all the pathogens inside. But, because it’s rich in nitrogen, you need to add rich levels of carbon. To do so, add some sawdust. Ideally, go for a 2:1 poop to sawdust ratio.
Compostable poop bags are made of cornstarch and other ingredients that degrade over time. When not used within a year from the manufacturing date, they slowly deteriorate and become thinner.
- Nemo, L. October 21, 2020. “Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags Might Be Too Good To Be True” Discover Magazine. Retrieved November 7, 2023. https://www.discovermagazine.com/environment/biodegradable-dog-poop-bags-might-be-too-good-to-be-true
- deBara, D. June 11, 2018. “Are There Eco-Friendly Dog Poop Cleanup Options?” PetMD. Retrieved November 7, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/are-there-eco-friendly-dog-poop-cleanup-options
- Paige, J. July 16, 2020. "Are oxo-biodegradable plastics bad for the environment?". Packaging Gateway. Retrieved November 7, 2023. https://www.packaging-gateway.com/features/are-oxo-biodegradable-plastics-bad-for-the-environment/?cf-view
- PetMD Editorial. May 5, 2022. “Is Dog Poop Bad For Your Yard?”. PetMD. Retrieved November 7, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/pet-lover/dog-poop-hazardous-your-yard