// Pets at Home introduces a store take-back scheme to cut down on pet food plastic waste
// If successful, the initiative will be rolled out to majority of stores by the end of next year
Pets at Home is trialling dedicated recycling points for flexible pet food packaging in 40 of its stores as it looks to combat flexible pet food packaging waste.
The initiative is being supported by pet food producers Mars and Purina PetCare.
According to research by environmental charity Hubbub, which has partnered with Pets at Home in the scheme, 26 per cent of pet owners say they are confused over what pet food packaging can or can’t be recycled, while 14 per cent would like to see their local pet shop offer a recycling point for pet food packaging.
Working with specialist recycler Enval, which has the ability to recycle and recover flexible plastic, the trial will see pet food pouches go through a specially designed process to turn the packaging back into materials ready to be reused.
If successful, the initiative will be rolled out further with the aim of having recycling points in the majority of Pets at Home stores by the end of 2022.
The trial will also take place in three Vets4Pets practices.
Flexible plastic packaging which is plastic that can be bent, compressed, or scrunched provides a number of advantages to pet owners, including increased shelf life, portion control, and convenience.
Flexible plastics represent a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging however only 4 per cent is currently recycled.
Pets at Home chief people and culture officer Louise Stonier said: “We are really excited to be able to offer this recycling 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.“
Jack Hodgkiss, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said: “This trial marks a significant stepping stone towards tackling the issues associated with plastic packaging,”
“Around 44 per cent of UK households have pets1 and most of them don’t have access to flexible plastic recycling through their local council.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Pets at Home to make flexible plastic recycling possible for many of the UK’s pet owners.”