I made fun of Statesman commenters earlier whose main beef with the plastic bag ban in Austin (which goes into effect March 2013) was that now they would have nothing to put their cat waste in when they clean the litter box. But not having a cat myself, maybe I didn’t give enough weight to the importance of getting free plastic grocery bags for frugal people. Of course, the greenest thing to do would probably be to buy some of those disposable dog waste bags that are biodegradable, and throw those in the trash (cat waste shouldn’t be composted), but those obviously aren’t free. So, I’ve put together some low-cost solutions for ways to clean your litter box once there aren’t a bazillion plastic bags popping out of your kitchen cupboard:
1) Do you buy fruits and vegetables every week and use those little plastic produce bags? Those are exempt from the ban, so you will be able to still save those from your grocery store trips for your cat waste. Ideally, though, you can try to cut down on using those bags as well, and use some other packaging for cat waste that you already have in your house…….
2) like bread bags! Does your family buy bread every week? If so, you can save those to store your cat waste in! And the plastic is malleable enough you can just tie the bag closed, and save the twist tie for other uses.
3) Do you occasionally buy tortillas? You live in Texas, so you probably do. Those will work as well! Those bags also are made of a plastic that’s malleable enough to tie shut, or you can use the twist tie the bag came with.
4) Do you buy shredded cheese sometimes? I bet you do, and if so, those bags have a little ziplock closure on them, making them easy to close up.
5) Do you buy cereal? If so, it probably comes with a plastic liner, which can also be used to dispose of cat waste. You may have to use a twist tie or rubber band to keep this closed.
6) Ever buy chips? Like a cereal bag, a chip bag can also be used for cat poos, but because it’s not very malleable, you won’t be able to easily tie the bag closed and may have to use a twist tie or rubber band.
7) Ever store something in a ziplock bag? Once you’re done using the bag for storing food, if you don’t feel like reusing it by washing it out, rather than throw it away, you can also save that for when you clean the litter box.
I’m sure once cat owners start looking for alternative bags, they’ll find other common packaging that can be saved for cat waste. Even if you clean the litter box everyday, there should be enough options that you can get by without buying bags for this purpose. It may require some thinking outside the box, but it will be good for the environment and all cat and non-cat owners of the future!