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Biodegradable Cat Litter Bags – Better For The Environment

I know that I throw the dog poop bag (yes, I have a visiting doggie) into the trash and think I have done my bit by using a biodegradable bag.  The bag when it goes to landfill unfortunately is buried with tons of other garbage, where it receives no oxygen and may sit there not degrading as it has been designed to do. We think that we are doing the right thing.

Are there any biodegradable bags cat litter bags that will still degrade when buried in landfill?

What are the alternatives?

How Does That Compare With Compostable Cat Litter Bags?

Compostable cat litter bags are made from organic materials and can be composted commercially. The material used in compostable cat litter bags is certified as biobased, meaning that it’s composed of biomass sourced from renewable resources like plants and other plant by products such as food and agricultural waste. The thing is though, to compost the bags safely the bags really need to go to a commercial composting facility.

Can You Put Compostable Cat Litter Bags In The Home Compost?

Most people will assume that if something is labelled compostable, that it is safe to put into the compost bin or compost pile at home.  That is a fair assumption but we can’t just put the bags with cat waste into the home compost bin as cat waste has pathogens that most home compost piles cannot deal with.  The last thing you want to do is spread compost that is contaminated with pathogens in your veggie patch. There is more information here from the FTC regarding pet waste bags in relation to deceptive biodegradable and composting.

If you are a serious composer and have the facility at home to do this, that is a different story.  For most of us, it is a better option to put the bag in the trash.

Look, we have still come a long way from using traditional plastic willy nilly, like we have done for so many years. These bags including bags made from recycled products are improving constantly. We recommend using a bag that may be labelled as biodegradable or compostable, however read the fine print. Sometimes it is only the cardboard insert of a roll that is compostable.

On this page we have outlined as far as we can the eco friendliness in regards to being biodegradable or compostable.

How Do You Use Biodegradable Cat Litter Bags?

Biodegradable cat litter bags are not used in the same manner as the doggy bags as we don’t tend to (some do) take our cats for a walk and pick up their poop on the way. These bags are used at home in the cat litter to take care of clumps. The clumps have either been scooped with a cat litter scoop or you may have turned the bag inside out and with your hand in the bag picked up the clumps. Either way, the bag is then disposed of and the cat litter lives another day.  It may need a little topping up. Some of these bags are also large enough to cope with a complete change of litter.

With all of that in mind, here are the bags we recommend.

1. beyondGREEN Compostable Cat Litter Large Waste Bags
2. PLANET POOP Compostable Dog Poo Bags | Cat Litter Box Clean-up
3. EcoLeo Cat Litter Waste Poop Bags – X-Large, Compostable, Plastic-free
4. BioTrust Bags – 100% Biodegradable & Eco Friendly

1. beyondGREEN Compostable Cat Litter Waste Bags

large compostable cat litter pick up bags
eco friendly cat litter bags

First of all, some information about Beyond Green. The sole mission of the company is to cut pollution caused from harmful petroleum based products.

For the average cat owner using cat waste bags and maybe currently using plastic bags, it is somewhat reassuring to know that an active solution is being pursued.

The bags are made from corn by-products and vegetable oils resulting in a natural bag color and a smell similar to popcorn.

One of the key benefits of this product is that it claims to be naturally consumed in water, soil or landfill and with or without oxygen. That is a key point, the bags will biodegrade with or without oxygen.

The large size of the bag means that it is perfect for multiple cat households.The large size of the bags also means there is plenty of room for large litter scoops to deposit their goodies without having to carefully navigate the opening of a smaller bag.

The bags are also quite thick and a far better choice than plastic grocery bags which sometimes do have holes or a tear. Not to mention, that ordinary grocery store bags are unlikely to be biodegradable without oxygen.

Pros

Can carry up to 20 lbs.

Note: There is also a smaller sized bag so check the dimensions of the bag that you choose.

The ink used on the bags (printed information) is water based.

Cons

Some people do not like the corn smell of the bags.

Specifications

The measurements of the bag are 17” W x 20” L.  Each bag has a handle. The bags have a thickness of 0.96 Mil. This product is made in the USA.


2. PLANET POOP Compostable Cat Litter Box Clean-up

PLANET POOP Compostable Dog Poo Bags 30 | Cat Litter Box Clean-up XL Sized Doggy Waste Bag with Handles | Pooper Scooper Swivel Bin | Biodegradable for Dogs | Extra-Large Grocery Size Eco Pet Supplies

These bags are biodegradable and compostable.They are 100% free from plastic. They are GMO free and are made from plant based materials such as cornstarch and cassava and other renewable sources.

They can be placed in home composting systems and in a composting environment (and presumably this means a commercial facility) the bags will break down in 90 days.  A home composting system has so many variables that it would be difficult to give a definitive answer regarding how long the bags take to break down. I think it is safer to leave these out of the home composting pile or if you do choose to go this route do not use the compost on any food crops or veggie and herb gardens.

Lots of reasons to like these bags.

Pros

Good variety of sizes.

The opening is plenty big enough to fit a litter scoop for daily scooping.

Also suitable to use when all of the litter needs changing. Check the size of the bag you are ordering.

The bags are strong. 

Cons

Cost more than plastic bags

Specifications

There are many different size options.  This size has been chosen because it is a good size for dealing with cat litter whether scooping the box or emptying the litter.  These bags measure 17.7 x 17.5 inches and have a gusset. The packaging is also free of plastic and the rolls of bags are on a cardboard core.


3. EcoLeo cat Litter Waste Bags

Cat Litter Waste Poop Bags - X-Large, Compostable, Plastic-free, Thick, Leak Proof, Pet / Dog Poo Bags with Easy-Tie Handles,10.5 x 18.5 inch, EcoLeo (40-Count)

These bags are made with vegetable starches and biodegradable materials. They are free from plastic.

They are described as durable and leak and tear proof.

These bags will compost but they are not designed for a home composting system and would need to be taken to a commercial composting facility. Use this compost facility search to find a commercial composter near you.

These bags are designed to be used once only. They are made from a breathable material and will not block odors.

The bag won’t degrade for a few months. The ”use a bag” daily recommendations given, is mainly for the odor. This is something that depends on how sensitive you are to odors. Basically if you don’t find the odor off putting, use for as long as you want to.

The bags are 15.5.x18.5 inches when the gussets are expanded, a perfect size for cleaning the litter box.  If you have one cat, this bag may be too big for daily scooping when the amount scooped may be quite small. If you have multiple cats and thus more waste,  disposing of the bag after each use would work out well. Approximate size for comparison (in the minds eye) is that it is similar to a grocery plastic bag (which are already banned from use in some states).

Pros

Sturdy bags and a good size.

Cons

The bags may be difficult to open.  If this is the case, moisten thumb and forefinger. Place your finger on either side of the bag.  Rub the bag and it should open.  It is sometimes necessary to do this with produce bags at the grocery store.

Specifcations

The bags measure 10.5×18.5 inches closed and 15.5×18.5 inches when the gussets are expanded. They are certified compostable.


4. BioTrust Bags – 100% Biodegradable & Eco Friendly

BioTrust T Shirt Grocery Bags - 100% Biodegradable & Eco Friendly – Reusable Supermarket Small Trash Bags - Extra Strong Thank You Plastic Shopping Handles - Recyclable For Dog & Cat Poop (250 Count)

The bags are made from High Density Polyethylene. The claim is that they fully degrade within four years and they are almost 50% degraded in 361 days. Note: Some of these statistics regarding the length of time to biodegrade are dependent on the landfill conditions. Therefore is it not possible to be 100% accurate. 

These bags can be used for cat litter or doggy poop or food scraps. This makes them versatile.  It is a very handy selling point to purchase one type of bag that will fulfill multiple purposes.

These bag are strong and any scooped cat litter can wait to be disposed of until the bag is reasonably full.

Pros

These bags are manufactured in the USA

The bags don’t split.

The bags are strong. Some biodegradable bags can be thin.

Cons

As with some other biodegradable bags they can be difficult to open.  Requires moistening of thumb and forefinger placed on either side of the bag. Then fingers are rubbed together to create friction and loosen the bag.

Specifications

These bags measure 12″ inches width x 6.5″ inches gusset width, and 22″ inches height (this includes the handles).The height up to the handles is about 16 inches.


Litter box liners with elastic are a good way to keep a liner in place. There is more information about different types of cat litter box liners here.

We found other pet poop bags that have the claim of biodegradable or compostable. They have not been included here or reviewed because the size is more that of a doggy poop bag. It is difficult to negotiate a cat litter scoop with clumps from the cat litter into these smaller bags. That will just create mess and cause frustration.

The size of the bag is important so in addition to reading the credentials of the product, check the size of the bag.

two cats reading about cat litter liners
So much to learn dear! Using an eco friendly bag is a good start!

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