(Photo - Chewy on Unsplash)

Three national pet-products companies and the Target Corporation have agreed to pay fines totaling more than $1.75 million for marketing plastic, disposable dog-waste bags as biodegradable, according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

“Dog lovers who care about the environment are often targeted by deceptive advertising about the environmental benefits of certain single-use plastic bags,” O’Malley said. “These settlements are a win for California consumers who want accurate information about the environmental impact of the plastic bags and other plastic products they buy.”

According to O’Malley, Chewy Inc. will pay the heftiest fine, $600,000. PetSmart will pay $500,000, Petco Animal Supplies will pay $375,000, and Target will pay $300,000. O’Malley joined with 22 other California district attorneys in targeting the companies.

O’Malley’s office said dog-waste bags marketed as “eco-friendly” are not biodegradable and should be disposed of only in landfills. Dog waste can also contain harmful contaminants and should not be used even in backyard composting.

The district attorney’s office said the companies, after being contacted, took immediate steps to stop the sales, and cooperated with prosecutors to reach a settlement and ensure ongoing compliance with the law.