Mars Petcare UK and recycling experts TerraCycle have launched a nationwide pet food packaging recycling programme, led by brands WHISKAS® and JAMES WELLBELOVED®.

The Pet Food Recycling Programme – which is the first of its kind in both the UK and Europe – will offer pet owners a free solution to transform waste packaging into useful items like park benches and fence posts. The scheme enables consumers to return any eligible packaging in the market for processing.  

Mars Petcare is opening up the scheme further by inviting other pet food manufacturers to join TerraCycle and Mars to develop the programme and its impact through wider collaboration.

Commenting on the programme Deri Watkins, Managing Director Mars Petcare UK, said: “The Petcare category is a uniquely emotive one and we know that pet owners are some of the most engaged and passionate consumers when it comes to issues that affect animals and our planet. That’s why it is critical that the petfood industry responds to the challenges around recycling and plastic waste. Businesses like ours need to pioneer new responses to this problem and our new partnership with TerraCycle is an important part of this.

However, if we want lasting change we cannot do it alone. As an industry, we are stronger when we work together to tackle common problems. That’s why we want to open up this programme and are inviting other pet food manufacturers to partner with us and TerraCycle to develop the Pet Food Recycling Programme and expand its impact through wider collaboration. Together, we can develop innovative packaging solutions and dramatically reduce the environmental impact of the pet food industry.”

Through the scheme, pet owners can drop off their used pet food packaging at a number of designated public drop-off locations positioned around the country, or free-post them directly to TerraCycle for recycling. Once the pouches have been collected, they will be sorted, cleaned and shredded. Any food residue is composted, and the packaging material is turned into small plastic pellets which can be converted into useful plastic items, such as park benches, furniture, fence posts or construction applications.

Pet owners will be able to return packaging products in the following formats:

•             Wet petfood pouches, for example WHISKAS® Cat Pouches or JAMES WELLBELOVED® Dog Pouches

•             Flexible plastic packaging for care and treats products, such as JAMES WELLBELOVED® Cracker Jacks or WHISKAS® Dentabites

•             Flexible plastic packaging for dry pet food, including WHISKAS® Dry Complete cat food and JAMES WELLBELOVED® Grain Free range

The programme launched online on Thursday, with a number of public drop-off locations already in place around the UK.

Laure Cucuron, General Manager, TerraCycle Europe adds: “We’re excited to be working with Mars Petcare brands WHISKAS® and JAMES WELLBELOVED® to launch the UK – and Europe’s – first nationwide recycling programme for pet food packaging. It’s vital that we work to reduce the amount of packaging that goes to landfill, and making this programme open to any eligible packaging in the market is a significant step towards achieving this.”