Plastic bag alternatives for pet owners

As more Melrose residents rely on reusable shopping bags instead of plastic grocery bags, they need other options for pet waste.  Fortunately, there are many good alternatives to plastic grocery bags. Look around the house and you’ll be surprised at how many plastic bags you still have.  

Start with the pantry and the refrigerator/freezer.  Many foods and household products come in plastic bags. Bread, frozen vegetables, cereals, chips and snacks are just a few examples. Instead of tossing these wrappers in the trash, set them aside for pet waste disposal.

Newspaper bags work great, too. Melrose resident and Recycling Committee member Sean Sule makes a little extra effort to get double-duty from newspaper bags. “We tie them in the middle and cut just below the knot and create two doggie-waste bags.” 

Pet owners find that, when they get a little resourceful, there’s no shortage of bags for pet waste.  “We save extra produce and bread bags for a friend who uses them to empty the litter box,” says Jeana McNeil.

For people who want to avoid plastic bags altogether, compostable or biodegradable pet waste bags are an option.  Many brands and different types of bags are available, at a range of prices.  A quick survey of shows prices ranging from 3 cents to 10 cents per bag, depending on the brand and volume purchased.  Many pet owners like these special waste bags because they are compact and fit conveniently in dispensers.

All of these options are good news for Melrose residents who want to BYOBag (“bring your own bag”) and kick the plastic bag habit. For more information about reusable bags and BYOBag Melrose, visit