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Edinburgh church’s free biodegradable dog-waste bags are one small step for planet

24 March 2023

Project Harmless

The co-founder of Project Harmless, George Greer, and the Rector of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh, the Revd Markus Dünzkofer

The co-founder of Project Harmless, George Greer, and the Rector of St John the Evangelist, ...

A CHURCH in Edinburgh has worked with an eco-manufacturer to provide free biodegradable dog-waste bags, to protect the environment and to help dog owners affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

‘This is good news! In fact, it’s a poop scoop’

The bags, called Harmless Poop Bag, have been made by Project Harmless, and can be collected from the Episcopal church of St John the Evangelist, on Princess Street. The Rector, the Revd Markus Dünzkofer, said that he was shocked to learn that the materials of all existing dog-waste bags, including those labelled biodegradable and compostable, could be harmful to the environment. They either retain their original form for years, or release harmful pollutants and micro-plastic into the environment.

“This is our small step to help do good for the planet and our community,” he said. “It’s our way of helping to tackle issues related to the cost-of-living crisis, plastic pollution, and pet poverty.”

St John’s describes itself as an eco-congregation. It is a fairtrade church, and a member of the Creative Carbon Scotland Green Arts Initiative.

Project Harmless, which was founded in 2021, runs a similar scheme with the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. The project’s co-founder and managing director, George Greer, said: “We are very encouraged to have the support from community partners such as St John’s to make a difference for the planet. Unlike single-use shopping bags, there is no government or regulatory action against harmful dog-waste bags. A third of households in the UK have a dog, and will use nearly ten billion dog-waste bags this year alone.

“Our innovative Harmless Poop Bag is water-reactive, non-toxic, and micro-plastic-free. It can rapidly break down in our oceans and landfills, causing no harm to wildlife, marine life, or the environment.”

Project Harmless came into being after Mr Greer and his co-founders discovered, while out walking their dogs, an area on the shore of Loch Long full of debris and washed-up plastic. The Harmless Poop Bag was launched last April.

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