The Pets at Home store chain has revealed that it is testing a new initiative in 40 of its stores nationwide that aims to tackle flexible pet food packaging waste in the industry.
The industry first is supported by pet food manufacturers Mars and Purina PetCare, and involves an in-store take-back program through dedicated recycling points for such packaging.
According to a study by the environmental charity Hubbub, which has partnered with Pets at Home as part of the program, 26% of pet owners say they don’t know which pet food packaging can and cannot be recycled, while 14% would like to see their local pet store offer a recycling point for pet food packaging.
Flexible plastic packaging (plastic that can be bent, squeezed, or crumpled) offers pet owners many benefits, including longer shelf life, portion control, and convenience. However, it is difficult to recycle. As a result, most municipalities and local recycling centers are currently unable to offer a means of recycling.
Working with specialist recycler Enval, which has the ability to recycle and recover flexible plastic, the trial means that the pet food pouches undergo a specially designed process to turn packaging into ready-to-go materials. reused.
The test will also take place in three Vets4Pets offices. If successful, the initiative will roll out to the majority of the company’s stores by the end of 2022.
Louise Stonier, Director of Human Resources and Culture at Pets at Home, said: “We are really excited to be able to offer this service because we know the importance of making it easy for our customers to return their used packaging when they need it. they come to our pet care centers. It’s all part of “Our Commitment to a Better World” to create a better world for pets and the people who love them. “
Jack Hodgkiss, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said: “This trial marks an important step towards solving the problems with plastic packaging. Around 44% of UK households have pets1 and most of them do not have access to flexible plastic recycling through local council. We are delighted to partner with Pets at Home to make flexible plastic recycling possible for many pet owners in the UK.
Alison Bramfitt, Head of Packaging, Purina Group, said: “Purina’s vision is that none of our packaging ends up in landfills or as trash, we are committed to working for a waste-free future. Currently in the UK, only 16% ** of boards collect flexible plastic. The collaboration with Pets at Home and Mars allows us to offer our consumers other recycling options and to increase the total amount of flexible plastic that is currently collected and recycled. We also continue to work on innovative solutions that will make our packaging easier to recycle. ”
Kim Smet, Acting Managing Director of Mars Pet Nutrition UK, said: “We are delighted to be a partner in this initiative. Supporting the collection and recycling of flexible plastic packaging is an important step in achieving our ambition to create a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste and, ultimately, to create a better world for the animals of company.”
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