rePurpose Global gets help from pet food brands
NEW YORK – On March 15, rePurpose Global announced that its efforts had recovered 2,000 tons of plastic waste from the environment, which is equivalent to approximately 111 million plastic bottles or 1 billion plastic bags. Around 20 pet food brands have helped rePurpose Global, joining forces to fight plastic pollution by reducing plastic in their packaging and global supply chain and funding rePurpose Global’s waste projects.
It is estimated that approximately 300 million pounds of plastic waste is produced each year by the pet food industry in the United States alone. According to the industry, a large portion of plastic packaging is made of non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle materials, which equates to approximately 99% of pet food packaging that ends up in landfills or oceans.
Earth Animal, one of the brands participating in the rePurpose Global efforts, is committed to reducing its plastic footprint. By remaining plastic neutral, Earth Animal has been a key partner in the Pet Sustainability Coalition’s (PSC) Flex Forward recycling program and has also funded the elimination of plastic waste from the environment.
“Plastic is a huge problem in the pet food industry,” said Stewart Shanley, CEO of Earth Animal. “As we make strides to reduce plastic waste from our packaging and supply chain, we wanted to make an impact now. Through our partnership with rePurpose Global, we are taking the first step towards systemic environmental change by funding waste management infrastructure and empowering marginalized workers to fight the plastic waste crisis on the front lines. This is just one step in our journey to reduce our environmental footprint and we call on others players in our industry to do the same.
In partnership with all 20 pet food companies, rePurpose Global is currently funding the recovery of critical plastics, diverting them from waterways, landfills or destruction by combustion in countries including Colombia, Kenya , Indonesia and India. These countries currently have the highest rate of plastics in nature, according to rePurpose Global.
“The Pet Sustainability Coalition has identified packaging pollution as one of our industry’s greatest environmental challenges,” said Melissa Bauer, director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at PSC. “We are delighted to see that many of our members are working with rePurpose Global to offset their packaging footprint while investing in socially equitable environmental solutions directly within the most impacted global communities.”
The partnerships that rePurpose Global has forged with the 20 pet food companies have helped the company expand its waste collection efforts where infrastructure is very limited, and has also created additional revenue for approximately $4,594 waste workers.
“Globally, 380 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year, with the majority ending up in nature,” said Svanika Balasubramanian, co-founder and CEO of rePurpose Global. “We are currently living in a plastic epidemic and the collective sense of urgency among pet owners and the pet industry is palpable. Now more than ever, there is a critical need for meaningful partnerships to tackle plastic pollution around the world. Our coalition of brands and consumers is moving the needle and leading the action before it’s too late.
Currently, 230 brands, including pet food companies, in 26 countries are working with rePurpose Global to offset their plastic waste, eliminating approximately 14 million pounds of plastic annually.
Learn more about sustainability in the pet food and treats industry.