Sustainability and reducing our plastic use is a very important goal at The Happy Beast. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task to accomplish in the pet food industry. However, we still feel strongly that it is an important goal to strive towards, which is why we are discontinuing our single-use plastic cat food pouches.
Single-use plastic pouches have been growing in popularity over the past 5 years as an alternative to canned foods. This is because pouches are supposed to retain the flavor of the food better than a typical aluminum can since no heat is used in the sterilization process. However, this relatively small benefit to flavor has come at a significant cost to our environment.
The problem with these types of single-use plastic pouches is that they are made up of several different kinds of plastic and cannot be easily separated and recycled by most recycling facilities. In fact, the only way we’ve found to recycle these pouches is to send them to a New Jersey based company called TerraCycle that specializes in hard-to-recycle materials.
While TerraCycle is a great option, many people can’t afford to implement a similar program into their homes, or just do not have the means to do so (e.g. Living in an apartment complex, restrictive HOA, etc.). Even with TerraCycle as an option, these pouches often create more wasted resources because they need to be thoroughly cleaned out, rinsed, and dried in order to recycle them.
And all that effort is just for the pouches that are recycled! Unfortunately, the vast majority of single-use pouches are simply thrown into the trash where they end up in landfills or in the environment. can clog storm drains, harm wildlife, and even end up in our food as we consume animals that have ingested plastic products.
According to the UN, “plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste globally.” and it is estimated that 79% of all plastic waste produced is now in landfills, 12% has been incinerated, and 9% has been recycled.
Conversely, aluminum cans are 100% recyclable and can be recycled almost indefinitely. Unfortunately, as a society, we currently only recycle about 50% of the aluminum used in consumer products, but that’s primarily due to a lack of education and infrastructure rather than a limitation of the material. What’s more, in Boulder County, all of the aluminum pet food cans we carry at The Happy Beast can be recycled through single-stream recycling services, which are available to nearly all residential and commercial buildings.
Overall, we feel that discontinuing single-use plastic pet food pouches in favor of aluminum cans is simply our next step towards reaching our sustainability goals. We plan to discontinue carrying all pouches by Earth Day 2020. We will continue to provide a variety of food and packaging alternatives for our customers to try, in order to help you find the best option for your pet. As always, we want to help provide the best possible nutrition options for your pets, and simply want to do our part to lessen the impact on the environment and improve our sustainability.
Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns. Thanks!
- UN Plastic Sustainability: https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/25496/singleUsePlastic_sustainability.pdf
- History of Plastic: https://www.ecowatch.com/plastics-history-ecological-crisis-2560978473.html
- Food Pouches: https://www.romper.com/p/baby-food-pouches-are-a-huge-environmental-problem-60885