Melton pet food firm invests £3million to remove plastic packaging

Almost £3million has been invested at Melton’s Mars Petcare factory to use recyclable materials instead of plastic in the packaging of cans.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 2:58 pm
The Mars Petcare UK factory in Melton EMN-210609-145530001

The move will see cardboard replace shrink film across all mixed multipacks of Pedigree, Whiskas, Chappie and Kitekat pet food, resulting in the removal of 15 million individual pieces of plastic a year from the environment.

The company says the new environmentally-friendly packaging will see 180 tonnes of plastic removed annually – the equivalent of the weight of 30 elephants.

Kim Smet, interim general manager at Mars Petcare, said: “At Mars Petcare we’re on a mission to future proof the growing pet population and industry.

“The switch from shrink-wrap to cardboard is an important step in helping us achieve our goal of 100 per cent recyclable packaging by 2025.

“We know that over the past year alone the UK’s pet population sky-rocketed to an all-time high, tipping 20 million dogs and cats – nearly a third of the size of the UK human population, so as an industry our sustainability efforts must reflect this and improve, at speed, to create the world we want tomorrow.”

The change is the latest commitment to circularity from Mars Petcare, who in July announced a recycling programme with Pets at Home which saw dedicated in-store recycling points for pet food packaging introduced across 40 UK stores.

Additional initiative in 2021 saw Pedigree Schmackos packaging reduced by 12 per cent, while all Dreamies 60g packs became thinner, leading to a combined 27.6 tonnes of virgin plastic saved in the UK.

Further to this, Mars Petcare joined Asda in their trial of in-store refill zones and provided the first pet care offering with products from popular Mars brands, Whiskas and Pedigree.

The new packaging will be widely available in stores from Saturday.