The free compostable bags and poop-scoops. Supplied
Cape Town - An innovative project promoting the use of compostable bags when picking up animals faeces is seen to have reduced the amount of plastic bags being sent to landfills.

The Noordhoek Environmental Action Group has been providing dog walkers with free compostable bags and poop-scoops which are to be returned after being used.

The compostable bags are used to collect faeces and will be able to make soil while at the same time conserving the environment.

Founder of Single Use Plastic Alternatives and leader of the project Karoline Hanks said: “This project will enable dog owners to remove dog faeces pollution from public spaces without the use of plastic and soil can be produced at the same time which will be used for fertilising the verges and gardens of Noordhoek.”

Noordhoek Environmental Action Group and the local Noordhoek vet have sponsored the first 2000 bags. The bins have been designed and built by the Scarborough Environmental Group.

“Previously, dog walkers were collecting their dog’s faeces in plastic bags which were then placed in normal rubbish bins, which were collected by the city and sent to landfill. This way, the faeces do not break down and just continue generating methane,”said Hanks.

Hanks said she had tried various ways of managing the issue of dog faeces left on the beach and common, but struggled to attract funding for the project. After witnessing the Scarborough group’s success with the same project, she decided to adopt their model in Noordhoek.

Noordhoek Environmental Action Group has been providing dog walkers with free compostable bags and poop-scoops. Picture: Supplied

The Noordhoek Environmental Action Group have funded three of the bins and the Noordhoek Common Committee one. “The bags are stashed in another ‘upcycled’ dispenser. They are broken down by the worms in a few weeks. Once the bins are full, they are emptied into buckets, collected and placed into a large tank where the final decomposition process will be completed (with continued addition of worms, etc),” she said.

Hanks says the decomposition process takes place off-site and once the compost is ready, it is used for the “On The Verge” project that aims to look after the gardens and feed the trees planted at the common in the Noordhoek area.

“We insist on providing these particular compostable bags since there are many products out there that are, sadly, not compostable,” she said.

@Sukainaish

[email protected]

Cape Argus