Edinburgh innovator’s harmless dog poo bags set to clean up across the globe
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The idea for what George Greer calls a ‘revolutionary’ product came when he was walking his 4-year-old Swiss Shepherd, Noah.
What should have been an enjoyable stroll turned into a rubbish-strewn obstacle course as they visited Loch Long in Argyll.
“There was this awful scene of plastic bags and debris all along the shoreline. It shocked me. It underlined just how much plastic is in our water. In fact, ten percent of general waste plastic worldwide ends up in rivers and oceans.” said George.
George quit his job as a payments network director to focus on his ambitious new venture, Project Harmless, which he set up during lockdown last year.
Throughout the strict Covid-19 restrictions, George ploughed through product development and his business began to grow through word of mouth.
Just 12 months later, George’s poo bags are available to UK dog lovers and are set to take the worldwide market soon with interest from countries such as Ireland, Belgium and America, with a subscription box idea gaining traction.
George also believes his product is unique and is the most sustainable and least harmful poo bag on the market.
He researched waste levels, saying: “It shocked me. It underlined just how much plastic is in our water. In fact, ten per cent of general waste plastic worldwide ends up in rivers and oceans.
“The UK throws away more than ten billion plastic bags of dog waste a year,
"Unlike any biodegradable or plant-based compostable bags made using corn-starch, or single-use plastic, our bags are water-reactive, and they dissolve in the presence of water.
“Dog owners are a hugely responsible group of people and they recognise this is a huge problem and are keen to help.
“I called my product poop rather than poo bags as this is more in line with international branding.
“I am very encouraged by the support and opportunities so far. There are around 13 million dogs in the UK alone. Each one of those dogs does its business about three times a day, and around 70% of owners use dog mess bags. So that’s more than 25 million bags being used, every single day."
“Work that out over a year and it’s nearly 10 billion bags,” says George. “If ten per cent go into our water, that’s a billion. And most of those will be around for 500 years. As they degrade, they release poisonous microplastics and toxins which are bad for wildlife. Fish eat them and they go into the human food chain.”
He added: “If one of our poop bags gets into landfill, it will disintegrate very quickly. If it gets into the open environment, or into rivers or oceans, it will disintegrate rapidly. So, it’s no threat to fish or wildlife.”
One-hundred Harmless Poop Bags cost £15, which George says compares well against cheaper varieties when you consider the quality and positive effect on the environment. “In fact our Harmless Poop Bag Subscription plan works at just £2.88 a week for one dog, that's less than the price of a coffee to make the world a better place”.