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If you limit plastic...


Carrie12345
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... what solutions have you come up with for small trash bags and cat litter?

I’ve finally gotten into the habit of bringing my own bags to (most) stores, so my plastic bags have been dwindling down. But I scoop cat litter every day, and I’ve always used plastic bags for trash in both bathrooms, my bedroom, and my office area. And I’ve always kept a few stashed in the car for any possible trash.  It seems awfully dumb to buy new bags to replace 2x use bags!

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I'm working on hugely reducing our use of single use plastics, but I have a long way to go.

But for bathrooms and office trash cans--I've always lined those with a bag, but I've also always taken them to the kitchen trash can and dumped them out instead of replacing the bag every time. The bags in the bathroom trash cans get replaced if something nasty/liquidy is in/on the bag, but that's incredibly rare. I'm pretty sure I don't average changing those bags more than once a year. I probably could do away entirely with the bag in the office trash can.

Pet waste is a big issue for me, too. We don't currently have any cats in residence, but we do walk the dog every day and he has to be picked up after. Generally I buy pet waste bags but try to get the biodegradable type.

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I do what Pawz does but I also know there are compostable little bags bc i’ve  occasionally used them for my compost. If the compostable bag goes inside the huge “main” plastic bag not sure that’s incrementally better.

my issue is the net bags all my citrus comes in (oranges, grapefruit, lemons). We go through a lot of citrus.😞

Edited by madteaparty
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I always bring my own bags to the grocery/shopping, so I don't collect any single use plastic bags. I reuse whatever comes my way, but it's very insignificant.

I don't line our bathroom trash cans; I just dump the contents into our kitchen trash on trash day. Our town has a fee per bag system, so I don't use an extra one in the kitchen trash, just the town bag. 

We have one indoor cat and use flushable litter (there is no chance of taxoplasmosis since she's indoors only and it's found in garden soil and raw meat). 

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We kept a small, lidded trash can beside the litter box. Instead of scooping everyday into a single bag we would scoop into the trash can and close the lid. We took it out every few days. We only used grocery bags (reused). 

Edited by Chris in VA
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For dry trash, paper bags can also be used.

For yucky waste, how about the bags that the pet food / litter come in?  Also the bags large packages of toilet paper etc. come in.  If you open them just at the top you can use them for trash bags.

I don't usually use bags at all in most of my garbage bins.  I just carry around a big bag on garbage day and dump the smaller bins in there.  Periodically I wash the bins.

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In the car, I have a couple of cloth bags for garbage. One is hanging within my reach and I empty it out every month or so when I clean out the car. I can wash the bag when it gets dirty.

I do keep a couple of plastic bags in the trunk, but I've rarely had to use them.

I keep a washable wetbag in my trunk too - for wet clothes or cloth diapers.

 

We don't typically line the bathroom garbage cans - just dump it all out into the kitchen trash bag on trash day.

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Even with taking cloth bags to the store I find that there are so many plastic bags that come into our home that we can use for animal waste: tortilla bags, bagel or bread bags. I realize that homemade would have less waste but I'm out of time. Once you start looking around it's amazing how much plastic comes into the home.

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3 hours ago, Katy said:

You could see if your cat will accept flushable litter and just flush it.  Or the doggie waste bags made from vegetable starch that can compost.

 

Is your city's sewer system okay with the flushable? I know these things have been problemmatical.

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11 minutes ago, Anne said:

Does anyone use flushable cat litter on a septic system?  I'm a little concerned about that...

Anne

That’s one thing I love in theory, but would never test, myself.  I can’t risk my septic system. Especially not on a nearly 13yo cat! 

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23 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Is your city's sewer system okay with the flushable? I know these things have been problemmatical.

 

Actually our cat died recently and he refused to use every flushable kind we tried.  He wanted the teal clumping TidyCat only. But both here and in the last town we lived in I never read anything requesting it not be used.  I didn't even realize it was controversial.

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For pet waste, get biodegradable bags and set up a pet waste septic system. You may find it better to also switch to a sustainable, biodegradable kitty litter - and if pellets are a problem, consider that they're just compressed sawdust. You can, well, use sawdust.

As far as "small garbage bags" go, you can certainly hit up friends and neighbors for their backlog of bags, but if it's dry waste it probably doesn't need a bag in the first place. Clean paper products, for example, can just be shredded and either used for that aforementioned litter box, put in the compost, or tossed in with your recycling. Likewise with clean cardboard, like toilet paper tubes. But it may be best to look at ways to reduce the amount of garbage you produce to begin with, and then you don't have to worry so much about how you're bagging it up.

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26 minutes ago, Anne said:

Does anyone use flushable cat litter on a septic system?  I'm a little concerned about that...

Anne

I know someone who had a septic system disaster, complete with sewage backing up into the house, because of flushable litter. I would never use it!

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26 minutes ago, Anne said:

Does anyone use flushable cat litter on a septic system?  I'm a little concerned about that...

Anne

 

13 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

That’s one thing I love in theory, but would never test, myself.  I can’t risk my septic system. Especially not on a nearly 13yo cat! 

We're on a septic system. I've spent most of my life on one, and I don't think I'm overly picky or paranoid about it. I use bleach whenever I need to and don't think a thing about it. But flushing cat litter -- no, that's not something I could ever bring myself to do, I don't think. I'd worry not only about the septic system but also for the plumbing lines.

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We use take-out sized recycled paper bags. Like this: https://www.webstaurantstore.com/duro-20-lb-shorty-brown-paper-bag-bundle/433B20SHBG.html

When I truly need a plastic trash bag (e.g., for changing the kitty litter out entirely), I use Seventh Generation, which has some recycled content (but TBH is not their greatest product).

Edited by whitehawk
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I have done two things: 1. Reuse and dump into the kitchen garbage can. 2. Asked other people for their shopping bags. I figure they already have them might as well use them. I asked before garage sales, book sales and other times and end up with so much it lasts forever... 

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I limit plastic, but in regards to the food we eat and drink (so we don't use plastic water bottles, plastic storage containers, etc...).  I don't limit plastic bags because there aren't any great ideas for the cat litter situation.  But I would think those brown paper sandwich bags might work?

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