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Parkgoer calls out bad behavior of pet owners on local trail: 'There's no excuse'

"Maybe don't get a dog."

"Maybe don't get a dog."

Photo Credit: iStock

Dogs are cute, cuddly companions that can make life more joyful. They do, however, come with a lot of responsibility, including picking up after them when out on a walk or hike. One hiker took to Reddit to call out the inconsiderate behavior of some dog owners. 

"It was s***, now it's litter," wrote the poster above two photos of a blue discarded dog waste bag in their local park. The post was shared to r/mildlyinfuriating, but littering is more than mildly annoying. 

In the comments, the original poster added: "We get so much rain here, it would have been gone by the end of the week. Even if the bag is biodegradable it still takes years, looks like s***, and leaves microplastics in the water."

The OP has a point about the impact of poop bags. One research paper in the journal Environmental Pollution found that: "Approximately 0.76–1.23 million tons of global dog poop bags (DPBs) are disposed annually…account[ing] for 0.6% of total plastic waste generation."  

While that is a small fraction of the waste produced worldwide, it is not a small number. Leaving waste bags all over our parks and public land can add up. This is not an infrequent phenomenon, as other hikers have also disparaged pet owners who leave dog waste. 

Poop bags are also susceptible to greenwashing. According to Outside: "certifications are based on commercial composting facilities which engineer the perfect conditions needed for the bags to break down. Those conditions do not exist in the landfill." This means that while consumers may have the best intentions, companies do not — so your eco-friendly bag may be less friendly than you thought. 

Some options are home compostable, so you can just pop your dog waste in your compost bin to use in your garden later. If you use town or commercial compost, be sure to check their rules. 

Commenters were equally annoyed by this litter. One person said: "If you don't want to spend your walks dealing with dog s***, maybe don't get a dog…there's no excuse."

"I just tie the bag to my dog's leash and deal with it when I get home," one dog owner chimed in.

Hopefully, these inconsiderate dog owners learn some manners before their next hike.

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