Feed My Furbaby are probably one of the first companies genuinely trying to reduce plastic in pet food and it’s not as straightforward as you might think! The issue they face (as for all food manufacturers) is that without some plastic, the food doesn’t stay fresh long enough to meet safety standards, so it is currently a manufacturing requirement. The company's first priority has to be the health of the animals they feed and a very close second is sustainability and plastic reduction.
The company have, and still are, testing all sorts of plastic alternatives but the reality is that pet food is a moist/ oily product, so any compostable/ alternative materials will a) break down with the food inside and b) don’t have a sufficient oxygen barrier to keep the food fresh. The best solution available with today’s technology is to reduce plastic as much as possible. Feed My Furbaby have done this by using a much thinner plastic liner (up 60% less plastic than traditional pet food packaging) and using a recyclable cardboard outer packaging to provide the structure and safety for the food in transit. They also use a clear plastic so that it is easier to recycle and using separate cardboard + plastic layers (opposed to a single multi-layered material) means that each material can be recycled separately.
Co founder Ben Rennell says that "sustainability, of course, is all about maximising the life of the resources we use, so the other clever thing we do with our packaging is that we use the same packaging from production line to pantry, with no secondary bags, wraps, or tapes used in getting it to you & has an integrated cardboard scoop (from an otherwise wasted part of the packaging) to remove the need for plastic scoops or storage containers (It’s designed to be used daily in the house until empty)". Feed My Furbaby has won an Australasian Packaging Award and a Bronze Best Award for this innovative design.
A recent Scoop article perfectly summarises the company's efforts.
"It’s not perfect yet but we think that as a small kiwi company we’re already well ahead of what anyone else in pet food is trying to do for the planet" says Co Founder Amy Rennell. "It’s a bit cliché to say sustainability is a journey but we’re already well underway and always looking for ways to blaze that particular trail!
The best way we can continue to drive change is through the support of our customers and we genuinely believe that with local support, we can show a huge global industry how to better care for our people, pets and planet!'
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Feed My Furbaby