How is Piddle Patch a sustainable alternative to puppy pads?
Puppy pads have a huge impact on the environment, from the materials they’re made from, to their ultimate disposal in landfill. When your pup is 8 weeks old, they may be using up to 80 non-biodegradable pee pads a week. These puppy pads can take up to 500 years to degrade in landfill. Using a real-grass, British grown Piddle Patch is the environmentally friendly, sustainable alternative to single-use plastic puppy pads. Not only are our Piddle Patches grown here in the UK using real grass, each Piddle Patch and all of its packaging are made from biodegradable and recyclable materials.
Want to know more about our pledge to sustainability? Take a look at Our Commitment to the Environment.
Puppy Pads – the cost.
Single use plastics are plastic products that are used once, or for a short period of time, before being thrown away. Single use plastics break down into microplastics that contaminate our environment. These microplastics infect rivers and oceans and even find their way into our food and water supply. As a single-use plastic product, the puppy pee pad is mass-produced in factories using chemicals, plastics and polymer materials, similar to those found in disposable nappies. These same polymers have been linked by the Environment Agency to crude oil extraction and deforestation. This means that not only do puppy pads have a detrimental impact on the environment after use, but the production process itself is having a negative impact on the environment.
The Latest Government Legislation
So, we now understand the environmental costs of using puppy pads, but what is the government doing about it? The latest studies by Statista show that nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic are thrown away in the UK each year. In the UK, our plastic consumption has increased over 80% since the turn of the century, demonstrating that our plastic usage is increasing at a rapid rate.
To combat this, the UK government recently announced plans to reduce plastic consumption in the UK by banning food related single use plastic. The ban will come into effect in October this year and will make the following products unavailable:
- Single use plastic cutlery.
- Single use plastic plates.
- Single use plastic balloon sticks.
- Single use foamed, extruded polystyrene food containers.
- Single use foamed, extruded polystyrene drinks containers, including cups.
Whilst this will not affect puppy pads, this legislation means the government is doing something to limit the consumption of single use plastic. However, the government has also faced criticism from various environmental groups like Greenpeace and The Eco Experts, who claim this new legislation is a ‘drop in the ocean’ and is ‘nowhere near good enough’. Whether further action will be taken is up for debate; what we do know is that by using a Piddle Patch you are well ahead of the curve.
Why is Piddle Patch an alternative to puppy pads?
Having your own real grass Piddle Patch is a great way to become a more sustainable dog owner. Your Piddle Patch is a great alternative to puppy pads for a variety of reasons. The most obvious environmental benefit you gain from your Piddle Patch is that you are reducing the amount of plastic you are consuming, and sending to landfill. However, this isn’t the only environmental benefit that a Piddle Patch provides.
British Grown Natural Product
Each Piddle Patch is grown right here in the UK and harvested fresh for your order. When you use a puppy pad, the product has most likely been made overseas, and already has a big carbon footprint before you even take it out of the packet. With Piddle Patch, you’re using a product grown right here in the UK, meaning that it hasn’t flown around the world before use!
Furthermore, Piddle Patch grass is grown using sustainable practices designed to support natural ecosystems and the local environment. Our grass is grown in the UK using LEAF – Linking Environment and Farming principles – for sustainable agriculture. We also divert textiles from landfill and re-purpose them as a base from which our grass grows. Not only does this give our grass a thick, healthy root structure from which it can live and grow while not planted in the ground, but it helps to reduce waste and lower the carbon impact these materials would otherwise have if they were sent to landfill.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The easiest way to summarise how using a Piddle Patch is beneficial for the environment is with the old saying ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’.
Reduce – Using a Piddle Patch means you are reducing the amount of single use plastic you consume. When your puppy is around 8 weeks old, they will need to relieve themselves every 2–3 hours on average, which can result in over 80 puppy pads being used in a week. By switching to a biodegradable and reusable, real grass dog toilet, you are sending less single use plastic to landfill.
Reuse– One great feature of your Piddle Patch is that it is designed to be used repeatedly. It’s a living product and, with the right care, it can last for quite a long time. The frequency of its use is one of the main impacts on its overall lifespan. If you’d like to know more about getting the most out of your Piddle Patch, take a look at our Guide to Caring for Your Piddle Patch.
Recycle – All of our packaging is made from recyclable materials. Piddle Patch itself is a natural product, meaning it can be composted. If composting is not an option for you, it can be disposed of with the knowledge that as a natural product it will decompose much faster than if you were using puppy pee pads, and that much less waste will have been produced.
Did you know that each Piddle Patch is grown over a 14-month period? During this time, the process of photosynthesis takes place, an important natural process in which plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere in order to create food for themselves. As a bi-product of this process, they produce oxygen back into the atmosphere. This is why the Amazon Rainforest is known as the lungs of the Earth. Whilst the production of each Piddle Patch may not quite be on the same scale, they are still absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen during their growth. When you compare this to the materials puppy pads are made from, it’s clearly the more environmentally friendly alternative.
How else can I be a sustainable dog owner?
Using a Piddle Patch is a sustainable alternative to puppy pads, but that’s not the only way you can ensure you and your pooch are doing your part for the environment.
Take a look at some of the other ways you can be a dog parent sustainably:
- Bio-based Dog Poop Bags: talking of single use plastic, poop bags are just as bad as puppy pads. Using a plant based, compostable dog poop bag is a more sustainable way to clear up after your dog.
- DIY Dog Toys: keeping your pooch occupied and entertained with toys is essential to keeping them happy. But did you know that most dog toys are made out of plastic? Why not have a bit of fun, and make your own? An old bike tyre could make the perfect chew toy, or sew up an old shirt into a new stuffy toy for them to snuggle with. Let your imagination run wild!
- Local exploration: Instead of driving to new locations, take the time to find local spots you can walk to and explore. It may seem like a small change, but it is an easy way to lower your carbon footprint and to find things you’ve never seen before right outside your doorstep.
Piddle Patch the sustainable alternative to puppy pads – Final Thoughts
From production, to disposal, puppy pads have a significant detrimental impact on the environment. At some point in the future, we may see a ban on products like puppy pads, in line with the latest ban on single use plastic food products. Whether or not this ends up on the legislation, one thing is clear; using a real grass Piddle Patch is a great alternative to plastic puppy pads.
If you have any further questions about Piddle Patch and the environment, please contact us here.
Looking for some help training your pup? Take a look at our Training Tips Hub, here you’ll find everything you need to get your pup up to speed!