A photo that circulated in the news not long ago showed famous actor Jodi Foster walking her dog while carrying a bag of dog poop. That noxious bag of doggie dung, while it may be a common site for residents of New York or other large cities or states with “pooper scooper” laws, raised quite a few eyebrows not to mention noses in other cultures.
However, laws relating to the disposal of pet deposits are gaining ground as the ground we tread becomes more populated and precious. To make obeying these laws less onerous and odorous, manufacturers have created bags specifically designed to carry the offal without giving offense.
These dog proof bags generally have wider heat-sealed seams on the sides and bottom than standard plastic bags to help eliminate the chance the elimination will escape through a hole or tear. The stink sack bags also feature a zip top durable enough to prevent accidental spills in the event the carrier bumps into a friend while on a walk.
Why the concerns over pet poop? Plenty of cities around the globe do not have laws concerning the owner’s responsibility to clean up after their pet. However, many follow the lead of cities like Paris and do spend money on a municipal disposal service. As cities have grown larger, some type of waste cleanup has been deemed necessary for public health and safety. The cheapest route is to require individuals to clean up after their dogs.
As a result, the market for dog proof bags has been expanding as more and more cities opt for personal responsibility. Some states, such as Virginia and New Jersey, have actually written pooper scooper regulations into their state constitutions, allowing localities to draw upon them to make more specific rules concerning cleaning up after the pet poop problem.
Officials in New Jersey, for example, have estimated that more than half a million dogs call that state home. This can lead to unsanitary conditions that are ripe for disease to fester and spread and to possibly pollute the drinking water. New York City’s law specifies that owners of pets must not leave the evidence on any sidewalk, stairwell, roof, wall, or floor of a public place or a private area that is used by the public.
Even smaller cities are getting into the act as they are realizing the hazards that simply walking the pooch can bring when done on a magnified scale. Iowa City, a mid-sized college town, has taught its residents to be armed with dog proof bags and use them or face a fine.
The stink sack bags that work so well to protect the local environment also can be used to contain the stench of other smelly substances, as well. Since they typically come in a variety of sizes, they can be used to hide the odor of used diapers, gym clothes and socks, dirty laundry, bait and fish, toiletries, and the source of the initial complaint — pet food. The bags also can hold in aromas to protect the potency of herbs and spices.
Photo by Kiwithing on Flickr