Readers offer alternatives to plastic bags

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Single-use plastic bags are useful for dog owners when they and their pets are in public.

However, as shops move towards no longer supplying the bags because of their impact on the environment, dog owners will need to find other methods of dealing with their pets’ deposits.

The News asked its readers to come up with alternative suggestions to single-use plastic bags to use when walking their dogs and to contact COREAP’s new community sustainability facilitator Abi Hawkins with their ideas.

Ms Hawkins said she was pleased with the responses and was encouraged to see people were looking for non-plastic solutions as part of being responsible, urban-living dog owners.

She said not all biodegradable/compostable paper containers for dog faeces should go into bins as they would eventually go to landfill.

“Ideally organic matter should be composted as this is what would happen in a natural system and the nutrients get returned to the soil.

“Organic waste in landfill, if it is banana peels or dog poo, will rot anaerobically [without oxygen] to produce methane, which is difficult to manage and is a potent greenhouse gas,” she said.

One woman emailed to say she had bought potatoes from The Garden Gate near Tapanui.

The owners had made a small sack out of folded newspaper for the potatoes, and she thought that could be an alternative to a plastic bag for dog deposits.

Crystal Currie posted the article on her Clyde Fenced Dog Park Facebook page, which generated several ideas from members.

One member said biodegradable bags were available on a social media trading site, while others suggested bags were available from Nichols in Cromwell and the Co-op store in Clyde.

She said Pinterest had a video showing the viewer how to fold newspaper into a scoop, and volunteers might be interested in selling them as a fundraiser.

Ms Hawkins said she might trial the folded newspaper and share it as part of the Plastic Free July challenge she was running.

She said someone in Alexandra had been using a Ensopet pet waste composting kit, which apparently worked well for them.

“While there is a cost attached to it, I think that it might just be one more thing that responsible, urban-living dog owners need to consider for their pet.”