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Plastic, Estrogen and Dog Doo
Monday, 27 June 2011 00:00  |  Written by TC Brown | Blog Entry

Plastric Bottle photo courtesy of or Plastic? That’s a grocery-store question that has grown long in the tooth of late, at least where I shop. Cashiers automatically jerk open a hanging piece of plastic and drop your purchases inside.

I used to say paper, but then bought some recyclable canvas bags, which worked well. Then I got my dog, Bubs. Suddenly I had a need for plastic on walks. Sometimes I still feel guilty grabbing plastic, but the dog’s leavings have to go somewhere. Haven’t done any research, but I’m not aware of an alternative disposal method on a dog walk.

I’ve also been wrestling with drinking water from plastic bottles. For awhile, I tried the aluminum containers you can buy in the sport’s departments of stores.  For some reason, I can’t get comfortable with using those things. I always bring a bottle of water to the bedroom and it just seems easier in the middle of the night to unscrew the bottle cap for a swig.

But scientific studies have me rethinking this habit. German researchers have found that the bottles, made out of something called PET plastics—no connection to Bubs or his peers that I’m aware of—could be hurting us by releasing toxins in the water we consume. Yikes

Women readers take note. Apparently, the scientists found that chemicals in the plastic can disturb estrogen and other reproductive hormones.

In what might be described unscientifically as the “Nadya Suleman Octomom” effect, snails in residence in these bottles ended up with twice as many embryos as the ones living in glass. That can’t be good.

The bottles have been targeted as environmental bad boys for other reasons, too. Their massive production and use creates a huge carbon footprint and they are literally choking landfills. Though easily recyclable, up to 90% of them end up in a dump in some countries.

It may be past time to chuck, uh, I mean recycle, the plastic bottle and find a better option. I’m open to suggestions for the dog.

Additional resources:
Walking the Dog: Alternatives to Using Plastic Grocery Bags for Collecting Pet Droppings

Comments (4)add
Written by J Davis , July 05, 2011
My roommate had a dog (which I often ended up walking). Her method: a sheet of newspaper. When the dog stops to do its business, slip the sheet of newspaper where the mess will fall. When the dog is done, fold it up, pick it up and throw it out. All biodegradable and unlike with a plastic bag, it actually keeps the sidewalk clean since the mess never touches the sidewalk.
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Written by michelle , July 02, 2011
There are many online pet supply stores. Maybe some of them ship to Canada.
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Written by Beth , June 04, 2009
Just did a quick search and found a few of products for you:
1) Flushable & biodegradable dog poop bags (
2) Compostable & biodegradable dog poop bags (
3) Biodegradable dog pick-up bags (

I think I'll see if I can find them in Canada. They would make great gifts for friends & family members with dogs.
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Written by Rich Bard , June 04, 2009
I've seen compostable "plastic" bags at the health food store. They're designed to hold your kitchen compost, then you just throw the whole thing in the compost bin. I have a serious problem with manufacturing a whole product, packaging it and shipping it, simply so you don't have to wash out your compost bucket (talk about a greenwash product!). That being said, maybe these bags would work well for dog poo. Just scoop it up and throw it out. At least the bag won't be adding to the landfill problem and you can still use your canvas bags to bring home your compost bags!

Another thought that I haven't really explored fully - maybe you could compost the dog poo. You wouldn't be able to use it on edible crops, but you could use it for flowers, shrubs or the lawn.
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Eco Tip

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Eco Quote

The weight of our civilization has become so great, it now ranks as a global force and a significant wild card in the human future along with the Ice Ages and other vicissitudes of a volatile and changeable planetary system.- Dianne Dumanoski, Rethinking Environmentalism, December 13, 1998.  More quotes...