I am not a dog owner, but most of my family and friends have dogs. I’ve managed to avoid the subject of dog poo so far, as the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets.
However, a group of us were quite shocked recently when we carried out a village litter pick.
The majority of rubbish we picked from woodlands was dog poo sacks, some empty but most were full. Clearly they had been thrown into bushes and trees, despite bins situated nearby.
Dog poo sacks have caused the death of farm animals who have eaten them. We are asking all dog owners to help out and pick up poo bags if they can. Even the poo sacks marked as biodegradable or compostable are not what they seem, and can take years to disappear.
Going one step further, dog owners could help by picking up other litter too. There’s a great new group which encourages dog owners to do just that.
‘Paws on Plastic’ was started by Marion in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, in November 2018. The group has already attracted interest around the UK and has over 2,500 members on Facebook and Twitter. It has featured in many newspapers, radio and TV programmes, and is supported by Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Surfers Against Sewage, the Scottish Forestry Commission, the Scottish National Trust and many other organisations.
Paws on Plastic simply asks that dog owners pick up two pieces of plastic and either bin them, or recycle them whenever possible.
They could use a spare poo bag, which could then be reused.
Around 80 per cent of the rubbish in our oceans originates from land, so not only would you be helping farm animals and small mammals, but the millions of seabirds and sea creatures which are killed each year too.
With over eight million dog owners in the UK, could you imagine the potential impact if everyone helped out?
Thanks to all the people who supported the beach cleans at Amble, Warkworth and Alnmouth in March. You can get in touch with us on FaceBook under LitterBugs, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Beach clean details can be found under www.coast-care.co.uk