From cabin crew to doggy poo: How one Aussie wants to save the planet one dog turd at a time
Canny Leung is forging a sustainable way to free the planet from the grip of plastic. She is the owner of Sydney's Pawfect Doggy Day Spa, a well-known pet grooming service with a growing clientele.
“I used to fly all over the world as cabin crew with Qantas enjoying international cities, wonderful hotels and exotic locations, but every time I went away, I really missed my Maltese Shih Tzu, Birchy,” Leung said.
“When COVID hit, my hours were reduced and I worked part time. This enabled me to spend more time with my puppy dog. The more I went away, the more I missed her.
“So, in the midst of a pandemic, I threw in my job and decided to start my own pet grooming business. I loved grooming my own dog, but so many of my friends with pets didn’t really know how to groom their dog and asked me for their help.
“What started as a friend helping others out has turned into a thriving business. In two years, my business has grown quickly and I am as busy as ever. Oh, and I now have three Maltese Shih Tzus.”
Once the service was up and running, Leung said she couldn't believe how much plastic they were using and discarding.
“There was so much plastic involved in everything that we did,” Leung said.
“I realised pretty quickly that I had to try and make changes in the business if I was going to become more sustainable. I started by buying refill products where I could for consumables such as shampoo and other washing liquids.
“I also looked at ways we could conserve water in our day to day operations, utilise environmental friendly products, recycle and purpose items and cut back on energy consumption.
“Pets poop a lot and we were using lots of poop bags every day. I looked around online to see if I could find a more ecological solution for our plastic poop bags and came across Cassava Bags Australia and their amazing 100 percent natural biodegradable poop bags that contain no plastic what so ever.
“From the minute we started using them, we couldn’t believe how practical and sturdy they were. Not only do we use them in the doggy day spa, we also sell them to our customers. We sell three rolls of 30 bags for $8.99. We love them and our customers love them too.
“It is good to know that we are doing something good for the environment.”
CEO of Cassava Bags Australia, Bruce Delarossi agrees.
“Doggie poop bags are a huge problem in Australia,” Delarossi said.
“In addition to pet owners, local councils are big polluters. They literally go through millions of plastic poop bags every year making the bags available for free through pet waste bag dispensers for pet owners across parks, shorelines and walking trails.
“Households, pet businesses and councils could make such a huge difference to the environment by using only Cassava all-natural single use poop bags.”
According to Delarossi, changes need to be made across all sections of the community because too many plastic pet poop bags are ending up in water ways and in landfill and they are damaging marine life and the environment.
“The best solution is to dispose of your pet waste using a single use poop bag that is completely non plastic, all-natural and entirely biodegradable. This is why we created a Cassava plant based bag to ensure pet owners are able to pick up and throw away their pet’s poop safely and sustainably,” he said.
Delarossi explained that cassava bags are made from the starch of the cassava, which is a hardy root vegetable. By extracting the starch and combining it with organic components, Cassava Bags Australia is able to manufacture non plastic bags that are strong, robust and completely 100 percent natural.
Four reasons to use a biodegradable pet poop bag
1. It makes sense to put degradable matter in a degradable bag
“Picking up poops using an all-natural biodegradable bag makes sense. Poop is organic and it can’t break down back into the earth if it is placed in a plastic bag that takes up to 500 years to break down in landfill. Using a bag like a Cassava poop Bag means the bag will break down in months therefore allowing the poop to breakdown as well,” Delarossi said.
2. Single use natural bags break down quickly in the earth, leaving no plastic
Delarossi explained that one of the biggest battles the earth faces is dealing with an overload of plastic.
“If we are going to help save the planet, we have to remove plastic from everyday use,” he said.
“Where ever we can, we must replace plastic bags with single use non plastic bags. The Cassava pet poop bag is 100 percent plant based which means that it breaks back down into the earth leaving behind no residue what so ever.
“They are completely safe to dispose of and they are 100 percent biodegradable in home composting, landfill and our waterways and don’t leave any toxins behind. They dissolve in water and are biodegrade in the ocean, leaving behind no micro plastics.
“We have all seen images of marine life entangled in plastic. We have to do something to stop this from happening and using plant based bags like Cassava Bags will make a huge difference.”
3. Single use natural bags are very robust and tough
“Single use bags are all about sanitation and convenience. You use them once and then you throw them away. If you’re at all worried that a bag made from natural products is somehow inferior in quality, then think again,” Delarossi emphasised.
“Single use natural bags are very tough and durable. You do not have to worry about bags tearing and getting your hands dirty with pet poop; they are fit for purpose.”
4. The price difference is negligible
“Commercial research has found that nearly 50 percent of consumers are more inclined to look for and purchase eco-friendly and sustainable products when shopping however price is still a consideration,” Delarossi explained.
“The good news is that Cassava Bags are cost effective however there are reasons why some environmentally friendly products cost more. The plastic industry is decades old and has been developed globally at a massive scale offering cheap yet dirty products. Sustainable and organic materials do cost more to grow and manufacture than mass produced chemicals, however as this industry matures cost will get better. If a company produces eco-friendly products, then it’s highly likely that this will be the same for their business practices. These things add up.
“Sustainable living is on the rise, however, demand has not yet reached a point where sustainable products are considered as profitable as mass produced ones. The hope is that consumers will continue to make choices that are better for the environment and help to change the climate of consumption of mass-produced products.
“How do you put a price on our future, come on Australia, let’s do better!“
About Cassava Bags Australia
Established in 2019, Cassava Bags Australia is a new company based in Sydney. The company produces a range of environmentally-friendly single use bag products, such as pet waste bags that can biodegrade in home composting, landfill and composting facilities without leaving any toxins behind. The company aims help businesses reduce their plastic footprint by making better choices to eradicate single use plastic.