Pet food maker Royal Canin and waste management company TerraCycle have rolled out a free recycling program, where Aussies can recycle their Royal Canin and Eukanuba pet food bags at veterinary clinics.
The program has already begun in veterinary clinics on the Eastern Seaboard and will roll out nationally to help reduce the amount of pet food packaging ending in landfills each year. Royal Canin aims to prevent 20,000kgs of packaging – equivalent to 55 million bags – from entering the landfill and connect more pets with the local vet clinic during the first year of the program.
Matt Foster, GM at Royal Canin Pacific, says the company’s mission is to create a better world for pets through health, nutrition and responsible pet ownership. “Partnering with TerraCycle is one way we’re working towards creating a better, and sustainable world, for our pets across the country.”
Australians have more than 7.5 million cats and dogs and most pet food packaging ends up in landfills since they are not recyclable through kerbside recycling collection. The average medium sized adult dog consumes 22 bags of dry food and 730 pouches of wet food each year.
“The pet industry has grown substantially over the last year, fuelled by a rise in pet adoptions as Aussies spent more time at home during Covid-19,” said Jean Bailliard, GM at TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand.
“Although it’s wonderful that more people are becoming pet parents, it also means there is an increase in pet food packaging, which is frequently made from flexible plastic or multi-material packaging. These complex materials are difficult to recycle and are frequently not accepted in kerbside recycling,” she said.
The Royal Canin Recycling Program is also partnering with Vision Australia’s Seeing Eye Dogs. For every 1kg of pet food packaging returned to the program, $1 will be donated to the organisation for seeing eye dogs who are with visually impaired Australians.
“Over the next 12 months, Seeing Eye Dogs aims to train and match more than 40 Seeing Eye Dogs with handlers across Australia. This partnership with the Royal Canin Recycling Program will play an important part in our fundraising efforts to help ensure we can continue to support Australians who are blind or have low vision live the life they choose,” said Lester Chriam, client services manager, Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs.