Does the material of the biodegradable dog waste bag come from 100% renewable resources?

Some manufacturers advertise with statements such as “dog waste bags made from corn starch” or “made entirely on the base of plant material”. This is often a case of consumer deception or at least misleading, because this suggests that the dog waste bags are made completely out of plant-based material. Modern biodegradable starch-based materials, “starch blends”, however, typically consist of 10 to 50 percent renewable resources, with the residual being petroleum-based.

This also applies to our TSP biodegradable dog waste bags, which are made out of 30 percent renewable resources, currently derived from corn. The corn used is the harvest reject, which is not suitable for human or animal consumption. The remaining composition is petroleum-based, but chemically in a structure that is completely biodegradable, even under ambient temperature. More comprehensive information can be found under Biodegradability.

Does the biodegradable process of the poop bags also work outside of industrial composting?

Even with biodegradable materials that are up to 100% compostable there is trickery involved. For example, the statement “After about 80 days more than 90 percent of the bags are biodegraded and already after 180 days even the smallest particles are completely metabolized.” references to the European standard EN 13432. Not infrequently such statements conceal that this standard is based on tests under industrial compost conditions with temperatures around 60°C.

At the same time the EN 13432 standard does not ensure that the compostable poop bags degrade at a considerable speed in a natural environment, where there are much less aggressive conditions than in industrial composting. Thus, the degradation process can take many years or even decades.

TSP biodegradable dog waste bags

TSP biodegradable dog waste bags are home compostable (OK compost HOME certified, tested at 20-30°C). In a natural environment, especially in the warm season, there are already clear signs of biodegradation just after a couple of days. The whole degradation time of our product is dependent on several factors, such as temperature, solar radiation, humidity and the presence of microorganisms. Under very good conditions more than 80 percent of the biodegradable dog waste bag can be metabolized within a few weeks. If the conditions are very unfavorable, however, such as under a bridge with little moisture, little or no sunlight and just a few microorganisms, our material can last for years.

Our recommendations

Biodegradable dog waste bags should always be OK compost HOME certified in order to not only ensure that the biodegradation of poop bags is possible, but also that degradation will work under local temperature conditions. In addition, it is recommended that the manufacturer has carried out field tests in the natural environment.

Does microplastics remain?

For biodegradable material according to EN 13432 standard, which we use, this is not the case.

But beware: in terms of degradability, some suppliers on the market even refer to their products made of ordinary plastic, for example polyethylene (PE), as “decomposable”, “degradable” or even “biodegradable” , if it contains additives such as “d2w” or “epi”. These materials are also called oxo or oxo-degradable. According to The European Parliament:
“Oxo-degradable bags also decompose into microparticles that are harmful for the environment. The European Commission will investigate whether there are ways to limit the use of oxo-biodegradable bags.”

The German federal environment agency (Umweltbundesamt) also provides information on oxo materials: “In contrast to compostable plastics the ecotoxic effects are not precisely known. Although oxo-degradable plastics may be labeled as oxobio-degradable by ASTM 6954-04, they are not considered biodegradable in this report.”*

Oxo products can be recognized by the fact that they cannot be certified according to EN 13432 and consequently are not allowed to wear seals such as the Keimling (seedling), OK compost or OK compost HOME.

Where are the TSP biodegradable dog waste bags produced?

Our TSP biodegradable dog waste bags are produced in China in a mere bioplastic production. Seeing as the set-up time is shorter there, they can be manufactured more efficiently. This specialization also correlates with greater experience and expertise, which provides the basis for an excellent product.
Social and labor standards are ensured by the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). Employees are fairly remunerated, not discriminated and also ensured workplace safety. The production is free of child labor and precarious employment. In addition, the production is certified according to the quality management standard ISO 9001: 2008 and the international environment management standard ISO 14001: 2004.
Our biodegradable dog waste bags can be purchase at selected retailers.


*Source: Umweltbundesamt “Untersuchung der Umweltwirkungen von Verpackungen aus biologisch abbaubaren Kunststoffen” aus der Reihe “Texte | 52/2012”