The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a ruling against Ancol Pet Products Ltd’ claims its dog waste bags were biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.

Ancol had marketed a product in March 2018 with the claim “Refill Poop Bag Rolls… These thick waste bags are biodegradable to lessen your dog’s impact on the environment”, which was brought to the attention of ASA, which then ruled that the advertising was misleading on 5 September 2018.

Ancol’s bags, which are manufactured by Symphony Environmental Ltd, are made from oxo-degradable/oxo-biodegradable plastic, which contains a pro-oxidant additive that makes it break down quicker in the presence of oxygen.

However, ASA’s investigation found that there was ‘conflicting evidence’ that polyethylene (the polymer used to make the bags) containing a pro-oxidant additive would biodegrade sufficiently in the presence of oxygen.

Furthermore, the investigation found that responsibly disposed dog waste bags are collected in designated bins, which would then likely end up in landfill, where the oxo-biodegradable plastic would find itself without oxygen, and therefore be unable to biodegrade in any case.

Since the claim implies to consumers that by responsibly disposing of their dog waste using Ancol’s bags would lessen their impact on the environment, despite the fact the bags would not biodegrade in their most likely end-of-waste destination, ASA upheld the ruling that Ancol’s original claim was misleading,

You can view the ruling in its entirety on the ASA website.