Compostable dog bags are being installed in dog parks across the City of Cockburn

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.
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.

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 breakdown 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 derived from renewable resources like corn starch, cassava root and sugarcane, 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 mistakes 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 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.”

While more expensive than plastic dog bags, the new bags are expected to be more economically beneficial, according to Miss Ledger.

“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.