People are being actively encouraged to turn away from single-use plastic bags and to find more environmentally conscious alternatives. Dog owners use plastic bags to pick up poop, before putting it in provided bins or taking it home. For cat owners, plastic bags do offer a convenient method of collecting poop and wet clumps from the cat litter, before tying the bag off to prevent smells, and then disposing of it in the waste.
The Problem With Plastic
While plastic bags are convenient, they are also a drain on the environment. They are made using fossil fuels and, having been used once, are usually discarded in landfills and the ocean. It is estimated that it can take more than 20 years for the plastic bags to degrade in the ocean and that, even after this time, microparticles can remain and wreak havoc on wildlife. With more than 100 billion plastic bags used by US consumers every year, we must find alternatives to the use of plastic bags.
Read on for seven alternative ways to dispose of cat litter without relying on single-use plastic bags.
1. Compost It
It is possible to compost cat poop, although there are some steps you have to take to ensure safely using it in this way.
Cat poop contains a bacteria called Toxoplasma gandii, which can lead to toxoplasmosis if you have a weakened immune system. It is especially important that pregnant mothers, young children, and people with illnesses that cause a weakened immune system, be especially careful.
Add cat waste to your home compost, but do not use the compost on anything edible or in any area where you might come into contact with it. The bacteria will not necessarily be killed off during the composting process.
When used safely, cat poop can be converted into a strong and efficient fertilizer. It is nutrient-rich and can give your ornamental beds a new lease of life.
2. Bury It
It may be possible to bury the litter in your garden. You must not throw it on the surface of the garden because this can cause the same bacteria to seep into storm drains and other water sources. Ensure that you have plenty of room and use biodegradable cat litter, such as wood pellets or wheat. Dig a hole approximately one foot deep and immediately cover it with soil once you have put the litter in the hole.
3. Biodegradable Bags
You can buy biodegradable bags. They are designed to biodegrade quicker than plastic, but they still struggle to degrade properly once they are crushed and flattened at the landfill. Good biodegradable bags will not leak microplastics into the ocean or the ground once they have fully degraded, however.
Recycled plastic bags are better than single-use plastic bags but are still bad for the environment. They take a lot less fossil fuel to produce, however.
4. Paper And Newspaper
You can just use newspaper or paper bags, but this still isn’t the ideal option. Both of these options will degrade quicker than plastic, but the process is still slowed when compressed in the landfill. It also means that you are throwing paper away rather than recycling it, which is the ideal way to dispose of newspaper and brown paper.
5. Flush It
This is a somewhat contentious issue and is not the best option for all cat owners. You must ensure that your local area permits the flushing of waste, and you should use flushable litter. If you live near the coast, you should avoid flushing at all costs, and certain types of litter should never be flushed down the toilet.
6. Repurpose Non-Recyclable Plastic Bags
Some of us still have old plastic shopping bags. Rather than throwing these away, repurposing them for use picking up litter is an environmentally sound way to dispose of them, although sending them for recycling, or using them repeatedly to carry your shopping is considered the greener alternative.
7. Collect It
A litter disposal system is a container that is used to hold litter. You gather litter over a few days and then dispose of it once you have filled the disposal system. It is like a bin but tends to be a bit smaller, is designed to ensure that the cat litter smell does not escape, and it means that, rather than using five bags a day, you can use one bag every week. This bag will end up in landfill, but it is much less of a burden, and you can use biodegradable bags to further lessen your impact.
By the way…
If you're over your house smelling like you've got a pet, it's time to check out the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray! It removes even the most stubborn smells and stains and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Click here to find out more about this amazing product.
At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool cat company!
How To Dispose of Cat Litter Without Plastic Bags
Single-use plastic is damaging to the environment because it uses fossil fuels in its manufacture. It also takes decades to decay and degrade. One way in which pet owners use these bags frequently is in the gathering and disposal of cat litter. Above, we have listed seven ways you can minimize or eliminate your use of plastic bags to dispose of cat litter.
Featured Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock