When you are out for a walk with your dog and he or she needs to stop to answer nature’s number two call, what do you do? Do you bag the waste and bin it? But what if there isn’t a bin near by – which is often the case when out in the fields – do you take it home with you?
Rather than bagging up dog waste in plastic, owners are now being told to use a stick and flick it into the undergrowth when walking their pooch in the countryside. It’s called the Stick and Flick campaign.
Moving dog waste into the foliage is thought to be better for the environment as it reduces plastic; better for the plants as it provides nutrients; and better for humans as it is out of sight and more hygienic.
The topic was discussed by MPs during a recent debate at Westminster Hall, where Conservative MP Anne Main advocated this alternative method, to reduce plastic bag litter and stops people who are hanging bags of dog waste from trees .
The BBC reports that local authorities across England and Wales received 73,824 complaints about dog fouling in 2014-15. Keep Britain Tidy estimates that a staggering 1,000 tonnes of waste is produced every day from the eight million dogs in the UK.
Mrs Main told the BBC “Over the last few years I’ve noticed an increasing number of dog poo bags hanging off bushes, trees and railings – and it’s disgusting. People think it’s the right thing to do to pick it up, but when they find there aren’t any bins, they jettison the poo-bag into the undergrowth or lob it over a garden fence where animals can eat them, children pick them up or cyclists ride into them."
The bag may be left hanging on a tree for the dog owner to recollect on the way home, but many forget, which damages the environment. Mrs Main says she is backing the Stick and Flick campaign, which is also being supported by the Forestry Commission. At the moment, anyone who doesn’t clear up after their dog can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.