City gets scoop on dog­gie bags

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

CITY of Cock­burn dog own­ers will be able to walk their four-legged friends and be en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly with the City set to in­stall 150 weather-proof dis­pensers hold­ing com­postable non-plas­tic dog­gie bags.

The “Dog Poo-ch Pouches”, which are de­signed to break down in three to six months, will be rolled out across the City’s large parks un­til June 30, 2019, with an­other 100 dis­pensers the fol­low­ing fi­nan­cial year.

The bags are made from re­new­able re­sources like corn starch, cas­sava root and sug­ar­cane. They will dis­in­te­grate in land­fill and home com­posters in three months and fully de­grade in six months, un­like the plas­tic bags they will re­place.

City waste ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Nicki Ledger said the com­postable bags were less dam­ag­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment as they were likely to break down quickly if they ended up in lo­cal wa­ter­ways, not crum­ble into tiny pieces of plas­tic like the ‘degrad­able’ or ‘biodegrad­able’ bags.

“Wildlife of­ten mis­take these tiny pieces of plas­tic for food as they break down into smaller and smaller pieces,” Miss Ledger said.

“They can work their way into the food chain and make the birds and an­i­mals sick and even kill them. And that doesn’t in­clude the tan­gling haz­ard of plas­tic bags.”

Miss Ledger said the bags were cer­ti­fied com­postable to AS4736, mean­ing they would break down com­pletely in the in­dus­trial com­posters at the Re­gional Re­source Re­cov­ery Cen­tre in Can­ning Vale if placed in any City of Cock­burn gen­eral waste bin.

“They’re also com­postable to AS5810 for home com­post­ing sys­tems so they will break down in back­yard com­posters,” she said.

“This is good news be­cause the bag and the poop will be­come com­post, rather than be­ing sent to land­fill where they con­trib­ute to emis­sions of methane, a po­tent green­house gas that con­trib­utes to cli­mate change.”

Miss Ledger said while more ex­pen­sive than plas­tic dog bags, the new bags were ex­pected to be more eco­nom­i­cally ben­e­fi­cial.

“The new rolls hold 400 bags, com­pared with the old flat bag sta­tions which only held 250,” she said.

“This means they need to be re­filled less of­ten.”

Dion Bain and his pup Odie, seen here with Mayor Lo­gan Howlett, are al­ready mak­ing good use of new com­postable Dog Poo-ch Pouches at City of Cock­burn parks.

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