5 Ideas for Zero Waste Dog Poop Bags

With an 80-pound rottweiler, zero waste dog poop bags and alternatives have been a necessity for me.

My dog is a poop factory. Ha!

Zero waste dog poop bags can be made from compostable, plant-based ‘plastic’ or paper (like newspaper or brown paper).

Why use zero waste dog bags

Regular plastic bags are made with polythene which doesn’t degrade or decompose. The bags just break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic, called microplastic.

Scientists aren’t sure about the long term health implications of microplastics. But, one thing is clear, it is in the air, water, and soil. We are eating some of it, according to the Washington Post.

But, not all eco friendly dog bags are created equal. Some companies have resorted to misleading advertising to essentially ‘greenwash’ their products to make them appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are.

Bag companies that use recycled plastic don’t usually mention new plastic must be added in the manufacturing process.

They also add in fine print that many eco friendly bags will only decompose in industrial facilities. Is that where you are sending your dog poop? I think not – it’s either the landfill or a compost bin, where the temperatures aren’t high enough for decomposition.

So, research the products before you buy or try these options.

eco friendly dog waste bags

Best zero waste dog bags

The best zero waste dog bags are made from compostable materials.

  • Paper biodegrades quickly.
  • Natural fabric takes a couple months to decompose.
  • Biodegradable plant-based plastics can dissolve fast in water.

So, choose these materials to use as zero waste dog bags.

What type of bag you use will depend on:

  • the size of the dog
  • type of poop (solid vs liquidy)
  • where you are at that moment and your access to trash cans
  • what you plan to do with the waste (compost at home or flush)

Paper is great for solid waste when you’re close to a trash can, even with a large dog.

You can consider natural fabrics if you compost solid dog waste at home, provided you’re willing to wash the fabrics after each use.

Biodegradable plastics could be used when the dog poop is not solid.

The choice is all on you.

Repurposed newspaper dog poop bags

Use newspapers and old junk mail to make your very own compostable dog poop bags. If you’re out of old paper, ask your local store for their days-old, unsold newspaper.

Here’s a simple video on how to make the bags without glue. Make a bunch and keep them in your bag or around the house.


If you’re concerned with picking up the poop, try making an origami scoop. Doubling the newspaper or using old magazine paper would work well here.

Use brown bags

If you don’t have access to newspapers, try brown sandwich bags made from recycled paper. They come in lots of sizes so you can use them for your small dogs and big dogs too.

DIY simple fabric bags

If you compost the poop at home, consider repurposing old fabrics and string to make simple drawstring bags. Store the solid dog waste when you are on short walks around your neighborhood and empty them into the compost bin when you get home. Wash the bags out and sanitize.

Here’s a simple sewing tutorial for making the bags.

Unni compostable trash bags

Unni compostable trash bags

These 2.6-gallon bags are made with plant-based starch and are certified for home composting with US ASTM D6400 and European EN 13432 standards.

But they do tear easily and have a short shelf life since they are plant-based. Heat from rotting waste can trigger the composting process for the bag itself. So, use these dog waste roll bags when you can’t use paper bags.

Cornstarch compostable dog poop bags

These are also great plant-based bags with the same ASTM and EN certifications.

They are made with corn starch, edible glycerin and BPAT (biodegradable and compostable polymer).

They are pretty sturdy bags so they don’t tear easily. But, their name ‘Give a Sh!t’ – while funny – may not be appropriate for kids.

What do you think about these zero waste dog bags? What else do you use?

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