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Hiker sparks debate with photo of frustrating scene found on trail: 'The second they were out of sight they just dropped it'

"Why create plastic waste?"

"Why create plastic waste?"

Photo Credit: iStock

There are about 471 million pet dogs worldwide. Believe it or not, how you care for your pet has environmental consequences.

A Redditor went to r/mildlyinfuriating to post a picture of what one pet owner left on the ground.

"Why create plastic waste?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

A blue plastic bag of dog poop lies at the bottom of a tree trunk — the pet owner and dog seemingly nowhere to be found. So much for the "leave no trace" rule.

"Why create plastic waste?" the Redditor asked in their caption. They later revealed in the comments that they disposed of it themselves.

With microplastics being a major concern invading our air, water systems, and soil, it's a more problematic photo than it appears. According to an article posted on ScienceDirect, an estimated 415 billion plastic dog poop bags are used per year worldwide, only adding to the problem. 

American dogs produce an estimated 10.6 million tons of feces each year, as a Live Science "Expert Voices" Op-Ed noted in 2014. The issue is that it's full of parasites and bacteria due to their diets, which can pose risks to the environment, wildlife, and humans.

Forbes reported that 23% of dog owners got their animals from a breeder, based on info from the American Veterinary Medical Association. That's an alarming percentage considering that 390,000 dogs are euthanized each year in the United States, per Forbes, according to the ASPCA — a number that has been in overall decline since 2011. 

If you are in search of a furry pal, consider adopting from a shelter where there are tons of animals just waiting to be loved. 

If you need inspiration, check out Instagram's newest sensation Miss Peaches (@famousmisspeaches), recently rescued by Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy. She's now the face of a rescue movement, raising thousands of dollars for shelters and charities nationwide.

If you're already a pet owner, consider making more sustainable choices for your pets, starting with these eco-friendly pet products. Bonus — it will save you money, too.

The post was met with the infuriated type of responses you'd expect in the forum.

One Redditor wrote, "Someone probably saw their dog s***, so they were obligated to pick it up in that moment. But the second they were out of sight they just dropped it."

In response to the argument that many dog owners bag the waste intending to pick it up on their way back, one person said, "50/50 they forget."

One comment summarized it perfectly — "Man, that's s***ty."

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