Mars Petcare is set to replace shrink-film with cardboard across its UK multipack pet food range, in a bid to meet its goal of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

The company has today announced it will replace shrink-film with cardboard across all mixed multipack cans of Pedigree, Whiskas, Chappie and Kitekat pet food in the UK.

The move will apparently see 180 tonnes of plastic removed from the environment every year. The new packaging is made from cardboard, meaning that, according to the company, it will now be “fully recyclable” and contribute towards the removal of 15 million individual pieces of plastic annually.

Kim Smet, interim general manager at Mars Petcare, said: “At Mars Petcare we’re on a mission to future proof the growing pet population and industry. The switch from shrink-wrap to cardboard is an important step in helping us achieve our goal of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

“We know that over the past year alone the UK’s pet population has sky-rocketed to an all-time high, tipping 20m dogs and cats – nearly a third of the size of the UK human population, so as an industry our sustainability efforts must reflect this and improve, at speed, to create the world we want tomorrow.”

The move is the latest commitment to circularity from Mars Petcare, which in July announced a recycling programme with Pets at Home which involves dedicated in-store recycling points for pet food packaging introduced across 40 UK stores.

Additional changes in 2021 saw Pedigree Schmackos packaging apparently reduced by 12 per cent, while Dreamies 60g packs appear to be thinner, potentially leading to a combined 27.6 tonnes of virgin plastic saved in the UK. Further to this, Mars Petcare joined Asda in their trial of in-store refill zones and provided what they claim is the first pet care offering with products from Mars brands, including Whiskas and Pedigree.

The new packaging will be available in stores from 11th September 2021.