Petstock group joins forces with Royal Canin to offer soft plastics recycling  to pet parents

In efforts against the war on waste, the Petstock Group has joined forces with Royal Canin and TerraCycle to launch the Royal Canin Recycling Program at Petstock, Best Friends, Pet City and My Pet Warehouse stores nationwide, offering recycling infrastructure for all brands of pet food packaging. With an estimated 28.7 million pets in Australia[1], this means a significant stream of pet food materials contributing to Australia’s waste numbers, which sit at over 63.8 million[2] tonnes annually. Pet food tins and cardboard packaging are able to go into household recycling bins, however Australian pet owners had limited opportunities to recycle pet food soft plastic packaging, like dog and cat kibble bags and wet food pouches, until now.

While 74% of Aussies think that recycling is the right thing to do, in 2023, there has been a decline in Aussies taking soft plastics to specialised recycling facilities or drop off points, down to only 16% of Aussies surveyed in the Australian Recycling Behaviour Report[3] (compared with 29% in 2022). Unfortunately, practical and logistical obstacles have played a role here, which is why it's more important than ever for brands and retailers to work together to offer effective and easy-to-access recycling solutions to help rebuild trust in the recycling process. Now, the Petstock Group is offering recycling collection points, to make it easier for pet parents to bring their soft plastics back in store for recycling, to help customers access recycling infrastructure not available via their home kerbside recycling.

Working alongside Royal Canin and TerraCycle to bring it to life, Petstock Group CEO, Shane Young, says that they are thrilled to offer this service for pet owners to return in store and recycle their waste. Young says, “Our business believes that together, we can make an impact for people, pets and the planet. We continue to explore sustainability initiatives and remain dedicated to improving both our carbon footprint, but also consider how we can support our customers to reduce their impact on the planet. We’re now making it easy for them to recycle, and they can bring their soft plastic pet food packaging in store while picking up new food and other pet goods.”

Dean Richardson, Royal Canin Sustainability and Partnerships Manager, also commented on the program, saying "the Petstock Group has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, and we are proud to welcome Petstock, Best Friends, Pet City and My Pet Warehouse stores to the Royal Canin Recycling Program, to offer customers the opportunity to recycle their pet product packaging. We are always looking for ways to work with like-minded businesses to improve the circular economy in pet packaging, and partnering with the Petstock Group allows us to maximise the opportunity to recycle across their network of over 220 stores.”

Jean Bailliard, General Manager of TerraCycle ANZ expressed his delight at the expansion of the program saying, “We are very excited that so many more Australians and New Zealanders will have access to the Royal Canin free recycling program thanks to the expansion of this program through Petstock stores,” Bailliard said. “Because of the complex nature of the composition, pet food bags are not kerbside recyclable, and without programs like this they would end up in landfills. By providing access to a recycling option in the retail environment Petstock and Royal Canin are providing Australian and New Zealand animal lovers with confidence that they are doing the right thing by their pets, and the planet.”

Once the collection boxes are full, Petstock team members will ship them to the TerraCycle, and the contents are manually sorted into different waste streams, and sent on to specialised processing facilities to be recycled into recycled raw materials.  These raw materials can then be used to produce new products, to close the loop of the recycling journey. These end products may include benches, pot plants, compost bins, playgrounds, dog agility equipment and more.

How to get involved

Pet owners are invited to return clean pet specific soft plastics to any Petstock, Best Friends, Pet City and My Pet Warehouse store, and deposit them in the Royal Canin Recycling Program boxes, then it will be processed by TerraCycle and turned into new materials.

Charitable donations part of the program

As part of the Royal Canin Recycling Program, $1 is being donated to the Petstock Foundation for every kilo of pet food packaging dropped off at a Petstock Group store for recycling. The Petstock Foundation works to solve problems big and small. Whether it’s improving the situation of a person or pet, or improving the fabric of society, we are leading a change for a better future. Customers can feel good not only for recycling, but for supporting animal centric charities around the country.

[1] Animal Medicines Australia (2022) Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people

[2] Waste and Resource Recovery Data Hub - National waste data viewer

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