Published on 20 September 2021

Green alternative for dog clean up

You might’ve noticed a different colour poo bag at your local park or beach when you’ve been out with your dog lately. There are several good reasons for the change.

Last year, the City of Onkaparinga went through approximately 1.4 million dog waste bags at a cost of nearly $65,000.

The black oxo-degradable (plastic) dog waste bags council has traditionally used will be banned as of 1 March 2022 in phase 2 of the state government’s single-use plastics ban, which is a fantastic development for the environment.

When left in the environment, these black bags break down into microplastics, which can wreak havoc on ecosystems.

City of Onkaparinga has replaced the black bags with green compostable bags, which are made from sustainable and fully compostable plant starch.

Compostable bags are an easy, environmentally friendly and discreet way to pick up after your dog wherever you go.

City of Onkaparinga Waste and Recycling Education Officer Lynda Wedding says more care is needed when removing the green bags from the dispenser.

“They will take a little more time and care to open to avoid ripping the bags,” Lynda says.

“Rubbing the top of the bag near the handle between your fingers is easiest. After your walk, the used bags are okay to go in your green organics bin—the bags are certified suitable for commercial composting in Australia.”

If you’re bringing bags from home, be mindful about the term ‘biodegradable’. To be compostable, remember to look for the seedling logo to make sure bags are fully organic.

The City of Onkaparinga is committed to reducing the amount of waste to landfill as part of its environmental and sustainability goals.

The dog waste bags are distributed to more than 220 dispensers by council rangers, with the assistance of a large band of volunteers from both the council graffiti management team and members of the public.

Lynda says it’s important that dog waste isn’t left behind.

“Dog waste can spread diseases including roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms—parasites that shed eggs in dog faeces,” she says.

“So, it’s important it’s bagged and binned, preferably in the green organics bin once you get home.”