Pets at Home recycling scheme
Pets at Home's recycling scheme for pet food packaging

Recycle your pet food packaging at Pets at Home

Are you struggling to recycle some of your dog food packaging? National pet supermarket Pets at Home, have just announced they’ll be trialling recycling bins for flexible pet food packaging. So, you can take back your used plastic pouches when you pop in for your pooch’s supplies.

As part of this new take-back scheme, you’ll find recycling points in 40 stores and three Vets4Pets practices across the UK. It’s supported by food producers Mars and Purina PetCare.

Pets at Home are partnering with environmental charity Hubbub for the trial. Their new research reveals more than a quarter of us are confused over what pet food packaging can or can’t be recycled. And 14% of us would like to see our local pet shop offer a recycling point for pet food packaging. Which makes sense as many local authorities won’t take this kind of packaging, and what can and can’t be recycled varies around the country. So, it’s no wonder we’re confused, right?

Recycling pet food packaging

So, what counts as flexible plastic packaging? Basically, it’s plastic that can be bent, squeezed or scrunched. It offers the benefit of a longer shelf life, portion control, and convenience. However, the major downside is it’s tricky to recycle and often goes to landfill.

The new trial is working with specialist recycler Enval. They have the ability to recycle and recover flexible plastic. And the pet food pouches you drop off at these recycling bins will go through a special process to turn the old packaging back into reusable materials.

Following the trial, it’s hoped the initiative will be rolled out wider across the UK. The aim is to have recycling points in most Pets at Home stores by the end of next year.

How to get involved

So, Pets at Home is asking you to take your used flexible plastic packaging with you to a participating store or practice. You’ll need to rinse you the packaging first and all pet food brands are accepted in the bins.

Do get involved, if you’re local to one of the participating stores. The participating stores in England are in Arnold, Birstall, Bradford, Brislington, Bristol Bradley Stoke, Bristol Eastgate, Bristol Flinton, Burton-upon-Trent, Chester Caldy, Darlington, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Fareham, Halifax, Hereford, Huddersfield, Leicester Fosse Park, Lincoln, Netherfield, Nottingham, Rotherham, Sheffield, Solihull, St Austell, Stafford, Swindon, Tamworth, Wakefield, Weston-Super-Mare, Wigan, Yeovil and York.

Participating stores in Scotland are in Aberdeen, Corstorphine (Edinburgh), Kirkcaldy and Livingston. In Wales you can visit Bangor NW, Cardiff, Cardiff Newport Road and Swansea stores. And the participating Vets4Pets practices are in Doncaster, Hucknall and Huddersfield.

This trial is being introduced as a step towards combating flexible packaging waste in the pet food sector. I would like to see more of the big pet food brands going further and not using plastic at all. Or at the very least, no virgin plastic in their packaging. As a dog owner, I find it hard to avoid buying food in plastic packaging. Especially with a dog that has allergies and has to stick to certain types of food or treats. We already buy plastic-free poop bags, so why not food packaging? What do you think?