Ban hits ‘doggy-doo’ bags

Desolate dispensers . . . Empty "doggy-doo" bag dispensers across Dunedin on the weekend (clockwise from top left) Jubilee Park in City Rise, John Wilson Ocean Dr in Lawyers Head, Island Park Recreation Reserve in Waldronville, East Taieri Dog Park, Kaikorai Estuary in Westwood and Ocean View Recreation Reserve. IMAGE: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A plastic bag ban could result in more dog faeces on Dunedin streets, a concerned Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board member says.

At a board meeting last week, board member Martin Dillon raised concerns about the ripple effect of the Government’s plastic bag ban.

Associate environment minister Eugenie Sage confirmed all single-use plastic bags under 70 microns thick would be banned by the middle of next year.

Mr Dillon said the ban could result in empty Dunedin City Council “doggy-doo” bag dispensers.

“They are going to run out of plastic bags. That’s the big issue coming up,” Mr Dillon said.

“Where are you going to get plastic bags from?”

In the weekend, The Star visited six popular dog walking areas in Dunedin – Jubilee Park, John Wilson Ocean Dr, Island Park Recreation Reserve, East Taieri Dog Park, Kaikorai Estuary and Ocean View Recreation Reserve – and found dispensers at each site to be empty.

Council compliance, animal and parking services team leader Peter Hanlin said the council would continue to keep the dispensers available despite the impending ban on plastic bags.

“We’d still like to encourage people to recycle other types of plastic bags, such as bread and produce bags.”

Speaking to The Star on Monday, board member and Tidy the Taieri co-ordinator Phillipa Bain said people failing to pick up dog faeces was an issue across Dunedin.

People had complained to the board about people failing to pick up after their pets in areas of Mosgiel, such as Gladstone Rd.

The board had floated the idea of the council installing bag dispensers in the area but she doubted it would solve the problem.

She urged people to stock the dispensers with biodegradable bags.

Stocking dispensers with non-biodegradable bags, such as bread bags, went against the Government’s move to ban plastic bags.

“It defeats the purpose.”