Compostable dog waste bags

The black plastic bags we've supplied in parks and public spaces will be banned from 1 March 2022 as South Australia phases out single-use plastics. That's why we've made the switch to green compostable bags which are better for the environment.

We are trialling various brands of compostable bags as part of the changeover.

Rather than wrap poop in plastic and throw it away — where it eventually ends up in landfill, you can now use compostable dog waste bags and help divert waste from landfill and reduce plastic in our environment.

Did you know?
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with an estimated 38-40% per cent of Australian households with dogs. Given that one medium-sized dog produces about 180 kilograms of poop a year, it can really start to pile up!


Why have we changed to compostable bags?

On 1 March 2022, the state government’s single-use plastics ban will move the next phase and ban oxo-degradable bags, which is a fantastic development. Our previous black dog waste bags were made of oxo-degradable plastic, so we are making the early transition to compostable bags.

The council is committed to environmental and sustainability goals including reducing the impact waste has on the environment.

Last year, the City of Onkaparinga went through approximately 1.4 million dog waste bags. The black oxo-degradable (plastic) dog waste bags council has traditionally used break down into microplastics when left in the environment.

Made from sustainable and fully compostable plant starch, these new compostable bags are an easy, environmentally friendly and discreet way to pick up after your dog wherever you go.

Having trouble opening the bags?

Being made from fully compostable plant starch, you’ll notice that the new green bags are thinner and a little more delicate than the black plastic dog waste bags used in the past.

Please take care when tearing your bags from the roll in the dispenser.

To open, try rubbing the top of the bag (closer to the handles) between your fingers to separate the opening.

Why can’t I just let poop break down in the soil, in the park or on the beach? It’s organic.

There are a several reasons why dog waste, even bagged, should not be left behind:

  • Dog poop can take a year or more to fully break down, depending on climate, the animal’s diet, and other factors.
  • Dog poop can also spread pathogens and diseases including roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms—parasites that shed eggs in dog faeces. Once pathogenic microbes from the dog waste get into waterways, they can find their way into other living things — including marine life and humans.
  • Stepping in poop is just nasty for you, your friends and others in the community.

So it’s important it’s bagged and binned, preferably in the green organics bin once you get home.

Which bin can I put the bags in?

After your walk, the used bags are okay to go in your green organics bin.

The compostable bags will break down completely in the organics bin compared to the black oxo-degradable bags which simply break up into small plastic fragments over time.

If you don’t have access to an organics bin, please place bagged waste in a public litter bin.

Can I use my own dog waste bags?

We encourage you to bring your own dog waste bags – so helpful if needed on your way to or from your walking destination.

If the bags you bring from home are also compostable, they too can go in your organics bin.

If the bags are degradable or biodegradable, please make sure they go in your waste bin or a public litter bin.

How long do compostable bags take to break down & compost?

In all the international and Australian tests that have been carried out on the bags, they took around 3 months to compost.

If discarded on the path, in a reserve or on the beach, the bags will still disintegrate in around 3-6 months.

Do fines apply for dog waste left behind?

Yes – dog waste is considered littering and fines can apply.

Where are the compostable bags available?

You will find new green compostable dog waste bags at each of the more than 200 dog waste dispensers across council.

If your local dispenser is empty or getting low on bags, please contact our Customer Relations team on 8384 0666 or request a refill online.

Compostable bags can also be purchased online or enquire at your local pet store.

Can my dog waste be composted at home?

We would recommend putting dog waste in your organics bin for commercial composting.

There are a host of methods for composting pet poop in a home compost however knowledge about pathogen testing and temperatures needed to reduce pathogens is really important.

If you do wish to compost pet poop at home, dog waste compost should be kept separate from other compost and is best used on ornamental — not edible — gardens, and kept well away from streams, groundwater or vegetable and fruit crops.

What do I do if a bag dispenser is out of bags?

If your local dispenser is empty or getting low on bags, please contact our Customer Relations team on 8384 0666 or request a refill online.

Request a refill