Why is there so much plastic in dog food packaging?

Plastic bottles on a beach

Many companies talk about recyclable packaging because it is an important issue for both the environment and consumers. Recyclable packaging can be reused and repurposed instead of being sent to a landfill, which helps to reduce waste and conserve natural resources. For food products, the bulk of resource usage will be from the ingredients themselves (not the wrapper or box the product comes in). However, consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of packaging and want to reduce how much waste their households produce. Many companies are now highlighting the recyclability of their packaging as a way to appeal to environmentally-conscious consumers and improve their sustainability profile.

Plastic packaging is a common sight in the dog food industry, but it's not always the best choice when it comes to sustainability. Here are a few reasons why plastic packaging can be hard to recycle in dog food:

Not all plastic is created equal. There are many different types of plastic, and not all of them can be recycled. Some types of plastic, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are more easily recycled than others. However, even these types of plastic can be difficult to recycle if they are contaminated with food or other substances.

Recycling facilities often reject contaminated plastic. In order to be recycled, plastic packaging must be clean and free of contamination. This can be a challenge in the dog food industry, where plastic packaging often comes into contact with wet or oily food. If the plastic is contaminated, it may be rejected by recycling facilities and end up in a landfill instead.

It's often more expensive to recycle plastic than to make new plastic. The cost of recycling plastic can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the type of plastic and the availability of local recycling facilities. In many cases, it's more cost-effective for manufacturers to simply make new plastic instead of recycling existing plastic.

Overall, plastic packaging is a convenient and widely-used option in the dog food industry, but it's not always the most sustainable choice. To reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging, manufacturers can consider using alternative materials such as paper or biodegradable plastics, or implementing more rigorous recycling programs.

Curious about Petaluma's efforts to cut plastic and provide sustainable packaging? Read all about it in this blog post.
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