- Jennifer Blaese, CEO of Chicago startup Loft 312, is commonly known as the "Poop Bag Girl" because of her new product: biodegradable dog waste bags.
- Blaese, who sells the GreenLine bags on the West Coast, saw an opening in the Chicago market after the city's recent partial ban on lightweight plastic bags at big-box stores left some dog owners looking for a new source of pooper scoopers.
- The product is different from similar bags in two ways: the dispenser attaches to the dog's leash on both ends; and the bags themselves break down completely in three years, even in a landfill. A box of eight rolls sells for $9.60 on the company's website.
Blaese not only saw an opening in the Midwest market, but also saw a way to improve on biodegradable bags, many of which require sunlight and oxygen to break them down. "Biodegradable: That’s a very blanket word," she told DNAinfo.
And she's not alone in trying to disrupt the world of doggy sanitation. In New York City, the parks department is considering a proposal by Ron Gonen to launch "Sparky Power," a program to transform dog waste in dog parks into clean energy, The Economist reported.
His idea is to fit parks with small anaerobic digesters where owners would dump the doo; the machine then converts waste to gas for powering lamps and other park equipment. A year-long pilot would introduce digesters in three parks at a cost of around $100,000.
Why so much attention on dog waste? Each dog in the U.S. produces an estimated 275 pounds of waste a year, and with 83 million dogs, that's a lot of — potential.