Discarded dog-poop bags – a photo essay

It was somewhere around 2007, that Dr. John Darwell, who is a senior lecturer in photography at the University of Cumbria, UK, began researching and photographically documenting the phenomenon ofddsbs‘.

DDSBsOver the past two years I have observed with increasing fascination the growing number of discarded dog shit bags (ddsbs) I encounter whilst out walking in both open countryside, urban parklands and even suburban streets. This has led to a great deal of speculative thought on my part as to why this situation has developed. I can fully understand dog owners simply ignoring their dogs output (unpleasant as it is for anyone who encounters it with all its negative health associations) as it will in a relatively short time biodegrade and essentially disappear. I can also appreciate dog owners who scoop and bag dog mess and place it in a bin for disposal. What I fail to understand is the increasing number of dog owners who bag their dog’s mess and then discard in bushes or hang on fences/tree branches or leave in the middle of pathways and playing fields. Is this purely about not wishing to be fined and thereby picking the right moment to surreptitiously dispose of the offending article? Whatever the reasoning the ddsb has very quickly become a feature of our environment. The images presented here become typologies that reflect on the nature of function and style and confront the viewer with the (often unseen) contents of the bags leading to a mixture of amusement, bemusement, curiosity and revulsion.”

The author’s photographic gallery, with 44 examples of ‘ddsbs’ can be found here.

Note: The ddsbs project, which was originally solely UK based, has now gone international, with photos from Western Australia (mainly yellow), Isle of Man, Norway, Belgium, Norway and Germany (mainly red).