For the first time Purina Petcare packaging can be collected at Pets at Home.
The new initiative, which is being supported by pet food producers Purina PetCare and Mars, is being trialed across 40 stores and three Vets4Pets practices across the country and aims to combat flexible packaging waste, tackling the pet food packaging made of these materials.
Flexible plastic packaging (plastic that can be bent, squeezed or scrunched) offers pet owners multiple benefits including a longer shelf life, portion control, and convenience. However, it is hard to recycle meaning most councils and local recycling points are currently unable to offer flexible plastic recycling.
Through working with specialist recycler Enval, which has the ability to recycle and recover flexible plastic, the trial means pet food pouches go through a specially designed process to turn the packaging back into materials ready for reuse. Following the trial, the initiative will be rolled out wider across the country with the aim of having recycling points in the majority of Pets at Home stores by the end of next year.
New research* from environmental charity Hubbub, which has partnered with Pets at Home to run the trial, reveals that more than a quarter (26%) of pet owners say they are confused over what pet food packaging can or can’t be recycled and 14% would like to see their local pet shop offer a recycling point for pet food packaging.
Alison Bramfitt, Group Packaging Manager for Nestlé UK and Ireland, said: “Purina’s vision is that none of our packaging ends up in landfill or as litter, we are committed to working towards a waste free future. Currently in the UK only 16%** of councils collect flexible plastic. Collaborating with Pets at Home and Mars allows us to provide our consumers with further recycling options and increases 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."
Louise Stonier, Chief People and Culture Officer at Pets at Home, said: "We are really excited to be able to offer this service as we know it is important to make it convenient for our customers to return their used packaging when they come to our pet care centres. This is all part of "Our Better World Pledge" to create a better world for pets and the people who love them."
Pets at Home is appealing for pet owners local to the 40 participating Pets at Home stores and three Vets4Pets practices, to bring in their rinsed flexible plastic pet food packaging to be recycled. All pet food brands are accepted. For more information, visit: https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/recycle
* Survey was conducted by Censuswide in December 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 3,002 UK residents/1,618 pet owners over the age of 16
Earlier this year Nestlé UK and Ireland joined forces with four other major manufacturers to form a £1 million fund to Boost flexible plastic recycling.
The Flexible Plastic Fund is a collaboration across manufacturers, retailers and recyclers and aims to improve flexible packaging recycling by encouraging recycling infrastructure in the UK.