20 pet food brands from the United States, Canada and New Zealand, in partnership with rePurpose Global, the world’s leading Plastic Action Platform, have recovered 2,000 tons of plastic waste from nature, the equivalent of 111 million plastic bottles or 1 billion plastic bags in weight. The brands have come together to tackle the pressing issue of plastic pollution by reducing the plastic in their packaging and supply chains and financing the recovery of nature-bound plastic waste through rePurpose Global’s social enterprise waste projects.
The pet food industry produces an estimated 300 million pounds of plastic waste each year in the United States alone. Most packaging is made from non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle materials. This has resulted in 99% of all pet food packaging being thrown away rather than recycled, ending up in landfills or oceans. As key contributors to the plastic waste problem, these 20 pet food brands are coming together to take action.
One of the brands, Earth Animal is a pet health & wellness company dedicated to enhancing and preserving the quality of life for animals, people and the Earth. As a Plastic Neutral brand with rePurpose Global, Earth Animal is taking active steps to reduce its plastic footprint. Steps include pioneering a return to retail recycling take-back program called FlexForward and offsetting the impact of their entire supply chain by financing the removal of as much plastic waste from nature as they use.
Stewart Shanley, CEO of Earth Animal shared, “Plastic is a huge problem in the pet food industry. While we are making strides to reduce plastic waste from our packaging and supply chain, we wanted to make an impact right now. Through our partnership with rePurpose Global, we are taking the first step to systemic environmental change—financing waste management infrastructure and empowering marginalized workers fighting the plastic waste crisis on the frontlines. This is just one step in our journey to reducing our environmental footprint and we call on others in our industry to do the same.”
rePurpose Global, through partnerships with pet food brands, is financing the recovery of critical plastic that would otherwise be destined for waterways, poorly managed landfills or burnt across four countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya and India. These are countries that see the highest rates of plastic leakage into nature. These partnerships have created a positive social impact by enabling the expansion of waste collection where infrastructure is limited and creating additional income streams for 4,594 waste workers.
Melissa Bauer, director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at Pet Sustainability Coalition shared, "The Pet Sustainability Coalition has identified packaging pollution as one of our industry's greatest environmental challenges. We are excited to see many of our members are working with rePurpose Global to offset their packaging footprint while also investing in socially equitable environmental solutions directly within the global communities most heavily impacted.”
“Globally 380 million tons of plastic is produced every year, the majority ending up in nature. We are currently living in a plastic epidemic and the collective sense of urgency among pet owners and the larger pet industry is palpable. Now more than ever, there is a critical need for meaningful partnerships to tackle plastic pollution the world over. Our coalition of brands and consumers are moving the needle forward and spearheading action before it is too late,” shared Svanika Balasubramanian, CEO and co-founder of rePurpose Global.
To date, 230 brands across 26 countries and three continents are working with rePurpose Global to measure, reduce and offset their plastic footprint removing 14 million pounds of plastic from nature every year, and positively impacting 10,000+ waste workers and their families.
By Lindsay Beaton
Pet food safety is top-of-mind all along the production line, and everything from the ingredients to the equipment must offer solutions.
By Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
Many hours, efforts, dollars and brainpower go into pet food companies’ and regulatory bodies’ efforts to ensure that products on the market are safe and healthy for pets.