Pet food brands add sustainability with eco-friendly packaging and partnerships
Pet food brands Nature’s Fresh and KARMA are now helping more than just furry friends through a combination of sustainability-focused initiatives. Both brands independently set out to offset plastic waste from pet food packaging through eco-friendly partnerships and innovative packaging design.
Fresh green transformation from nature
Nature’s Fresh, under famed parent company Freshpet, relaunched in August after a year-long transformation to make the brand “the most planet-friendly offering in the pet food industry”, says a company statement.
“We’ve embarked on a journey to accelerate our commitment to creating products that are not only better for our pets, but also kinder to the planet,” said Scott Morris, president and co-founder of Freshpet, in the statement. This commitment extends from the brand’s ingredient sourcing to its packaging and waste management, and includes a goal to be 100% regeneratively sourced by 2025.
Nature’s Fresh packaging is designed to reduce food waste by ensuring food stays fresh and healthy for up to 24 weeks unopened in a refrigerator, says Kate Crook, vice president of communications at Freshpet.
The brand achieves this while using “up to 20 times less consumer packaging per serving by weight than competing wet food brands sold in plastic boxes and trays,” Crook adds.
Nature’s Fresh packaging includes film wraps and flexible film pouches, both of which are multi-layered in structure to achieve impressive shelf life that limits food waste. However, these multi-layer films are not recyclable at the curb. Thus, the brand uses third-party offsets to achieve 100% plastic neutrality through a partnership with the plastic recovery coalition rePurpose Global.
For every package of Nature’s Fresh pet food sold, rePurpose Global collects and disposes of the same amount of ocean-related plastic waste from countries with poor waste collection infrastructure.
This ensures that ocean-bound plastic is disposed of properly and “empowers frontline waste pickers by providing them with dignified livelihoods through additional income, so they can access better education and health care,” says Crook.
To further offset plastic packaging waste, Nature’s Fresh has also partnered with recycling company TerraCycle, which can recycle 100% of Freshpet’s packaging through its advanced waste management systems, Crook says.
Pet parents can participate in this program at no cost, as Freshpet pays all shipping, handling, and processing fees. Customers request a prepaid shipping envelope, fill it with used Freshpet packaging, and ship it to Freshpet to take care of the rest.
“Our team understands that aligning with the right partners helps make us a smarter, more responsible brand,” says Morris. “We make decisions that drive change, and I’m proud that Nature’s Fresh can play a leading role in helping transform our business as well as the industry.”
KARMA Recycling through TerraCycle
KARMA, a dog food brand from Mars, Incorporated, is also neutralizing plastic waste through a partnership with TerraCycle.
Pet owners in the United States can now send their KARMA dry pet food package with a prepaid shipping label. TerraCycle then cleans and melts the hard plastic packaging that can be reshaped to make new recycled products, says a statement from TerraCycle.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with TerraCycle to provide pet owners with an easy way to contribute more to a more sustainable world,” said Jean-Paul Jansen, vice president of marketing at Mars Petcare North America, in the communicated.
Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle, shares a similar sentiment that “partnering with the KARMA brand gives [pet parents] the opportunity to divert pet food packaging, something many of us use every day, from landfills while keeping the used material for future applications.
The partnership benefits don’t stop there, as every shipment of KARMA pet food wrappers earns parents TerraCycle Points, which can be converted into cash donations for schools and nonprofits. of their choice.
TerraCycle Points are earned at 100 points per book and can be redeemed for a one-cent-per-point donation, says Celina Mazon, TerraCycle Associate, Public Relations. Organizations that have received donations through this partnership include Eisenhower Elementary School, World Wildlife Fund, American Red Cross and Feeding America.