Open Letter to PetSmart and PetCo (Plastic Poop Bags)

I just wrote and sent the following letter to PetSmart. I tried to send the same letter to PetCo, but they do not allow email contact through their site – I’ll tweet this URL to them instead.

Dear PetSmart –

I am aware that you give your shoppers a choice between plastic or compostable poop bags. That’s a good start, but I think it’s time to change that policy. Plastic bags take several hundred years to decompose, while compostable bags take only a few months. Of all the things we might want to enshrine in posterity for future generations, our dogs’ poop is not one of them.

Our landfills, waterways, and oceans are drowning in plastics, and the problem of ocean plastics has now reached the level of international crisis — a mind-boggling 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year. We see a regular stream of news stories and documentaries illustrating how critical the plastics path has become. While some plastic things in our society are difficult to replace with non-plastic alternatives, poop bags are not one of them. Compostable alternatives are every bit as easy to use, and do just as good a job. Frankly, there really is no excuse for anyone to be using non-compostable poop bags in 2019.

Yes, compostable bags cost a little bit more, but not much. I understand that you want to offer your consumers a low-cost option, but I feel that poop bags are in a “special” category because the plastics situation is so dire and because poop is… poop. I implore you to take a serious look at the situation and ask yourselves whether you would really lose customers if you simply took all non-biodegradable poop bags off the shelves at all of your stores.

As a major retailer of pet supplies, your store is uniquely positioned to make a tremendous impact. Refusing to sell plastic poop bags would send a powerful message to your customers and shareholders, would probably garner some positive press, and would help you and your customers to feel better about their choices.

Please give this idea your full consideration.

Scot Hacker

2 Replies to “Open Letter to PetSmart and PetCo (Plastic Poop Bags)”

  1. I just came across this post and wanted to leave a comment saying I totally, 110%, agree with you on this. I’m not sure where you live but where I am there is only one poop bag product on PetSmart’s shelves that is compostable and this brand is grossly more expensive than the regular plastic type. If anything this should be the direct opposite where plastic is the exception, not the norm and we shouldn’t be paying a premium for compostables. I find it shameful that in 2020 we’re still dealing with such wasteful products like this. Thank you for this. Have you done a petition? Post the link if you have. I will sign it. I have often commented about this to the staff but maybe I should send an email as well.

  2. Thanks for the comment Karen. No, I haven’t tried doing a petition, but that is a great idea. I’m inspired. Added to my todo list!

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