How to recycle pet food packaging


We all know that recycling is a minefield at the best of times. What can we recycle? Which bin does it go in? And all the other questions we ask as we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. This blog post details the way you as a responsible pet owner can dispose of and recycle pet food packaging. If you’re looking for other dog related information check out the rest of our blog posts.

Recycling pet food packaging

Ways to recycle pet food packaging made paw-sible by new initiative

In an industry first, nationwide pet care business Pets at Home is leading the way by introducing a store take-back scheme through dedicated recycling points for flexible pet food packaging. The new initiative, which is being supported by pet food producers Mars and Purina PetCare, is being trialed across 40 stores and three Vets4Pets practices across the country and aims to combat flexible packaging waste in the sector, tackling the pet food packaging made of these materials.  

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.  

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 tricky 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.  

Recycling pet food packaging

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.”  

Jack Hodgkiss, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said“This trial marks a significant stepping stone towards tackling the issues associated with plastic packaging. Around 44% of UK households have petsand 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.”  

Alison Bramfitt, Group Packaging Manager for Purina, 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.”  

Kim Smet, Interim General Manager for Mars Pet Nutrition UK, said: “We’re delighted to be a partner in this initiative. Supporting the collection and recycling of flexible plastic packaging is an important step in realising our ambition of creating a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste, and ultimately of creating a better world for pets.” 

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:  

Hope this helps you know where you can recycle pet food packaging without it going in the wrong bin!

* 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  

**Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2019 

1In the UK, it’s estimated that 12 million (44 percent of) households have pets* with around 51 million pets owned – Latest available estimated figures from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA). 

·               The participating Pets At Home Stores are:  Aberdeen, Arnold, Bangor NW, Birstall, Bradford, Brislington, Bristol Bradley Stoke, Bristol Eastgate, Bristol Flinton, Burton-upon-Trent, Cardiff, Cardiff Newport Road, Chester Caldy, Corstorphine (Edinburgh), Darlington, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Fareham, Halifax, Hereford, Huddersfield, Kirkcaldy, Leicester Fosse Park, Lincoln, Livingston, Netherfield, Nottingham, Rotherham, Sheffield, Solihull, St Austell, Stafford, Swansea, Swindon, Tamworth, Wakefield, Weston-Super-Mare, Wigan, Yeovil, York  

·               The participating Vets4Pets practices are: Doncaster, Hucknall, Huddersfield 

About Pets at Home  

Pets at Home is the UK’s leading pet care business, providing pet owners with everything they need to be able to look after their pets – from food, toys and bedding, and grooming services, right the way through to veterinary care.  

Pets at Home is committed to keeping customers and colleagues protected, and the teams will be on hand to support social distancing measures whilst shopping in-store. 

There are more than 450 Pets at Home stores across the UK. Log onto to find your nearest store and for further information. 

About Hubbub  

Hubbub is an award-winning charity and social enterprise that inspires ways of living that are good for the environment – disrupting the status quo to raise awareness, nudge behaviours and shape systems. Their aim is to revolutionise communications with the public about environmental issues – using everyday language and good design to make environmental actions desirable and tapping into things people are passionate about such as food, fashion, homes and neighbourhoods. This innovative approach saw Hubbub win the Charity of the Year Award at the prestigious Charity Times Awards in 2020.

Since its formation in 2014, Hubbub has delivered more than 60 trailblazing environmental campaigns in collaboration with over 700 partners, helping to shift the national debate on key environmental issues such as food waste, sustainable fashion, air pollution and recycling. Hubbub’s campaigns include #LeedsByExample which brought together 25 of the UK’s largest companies to boost recycling on the high street, a 3-year partnership with IKEA to create the world’s largest consumer-facing sustainability campaign ‘Live Lagom’ and creating a Network of 100 Community Fridges across the UK, each redistributing on average 1.5 tonnes of food every month that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Twitter: @hubbubuk     

Facebook: @HubbubUK    

Instagram: @helloHubbub    

LinkedIn: Hubbub-UK    

About Purina PetCare 

Purina PetCare believes that pets and people are better together and is committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. For over 120 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including FELIX®, Purina ONE®, Gourmet® and Purina PRO PLAN®. Purina’s passion for pets goes beyond the advancement of pet nutrition and in 2016 Purina PetCare Europe launched the 10 Purina in Society commitments to have a positive impact on pets and society, including promoting pet adoption, pets in the workplace and helping to reduce the risk of pet obesity.  A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

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