Minutes after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to ban disposable single use plastic bags I received a call from the media requesting an interview to answer the question "what do people do with dog poop?"
I must first say that those of us interested in animal welfare and conservation should support this effort as that which protects the environment helps us all. Safeguarding the planet sustains both animal and human life forms as the ecosystems and food chains are all interconnected. If water is polluted, no living thing can drink it which affects the ability to survive.
These disposable bags take centuries to decompose, are frequently ingested by birds, mammals and fish, and often just litter the streets, parks and beaches. We can and should do without them.
Now - about poop. Collecting the poop in these bags is admittedly convenient. But - how may of us disposed of the poop, rinsed out the bag to reuse or recycle? The result is a non bio degradable object is used to encase a biodegradable substance!
There are biodegradable, environmentally friendly poop bags available in our stores and other pet supply establishments. There are also the reusable wood and metal pooper-scoopers on long sticks, (no bending required) which last for years and don't involve handling warm poop with one's hands, albeit through plastic. These may not be as convenient as the disposable bags but they are worth it. We all have to unlearn bad behavior and make sacrifices for the greater good. Note that part of that greater good is our own survival as a species.
If we can train ourselves to rethink water bottles we can do this. I hope we do this without having the need for a nanny government to force the issue. Now, can we talk about something besides poop?