How one family-run dog food brand is leading the pack in a packaging revolution

With the 17th annual Recycling Week upon us – as a celebration of all things sustainable on 23-30 September 2019 – it’s a reminder that every wo-man and their dog should get involved. And it is important to remember just how much of an impact every action, no matter how small it may seem, can make, especially when all those actions add up to one big effort. One brand who has recognised this early on, and is still leading the way is Butcher’s with their nourishing food for dogs range. In 2018 it was estimated that plastic packaging (such as the way products are brought to us on the supermarket shelves) made up half of all the plastic waste in the UK,* which means that companies like Butcher’s can directly help their consumers reduce waste by making a few small changes. Butcher’s are on a mission to cut out the plastic in their own packaging to reduce their environmental ‘pawprint’ – in a way that is affordable everyday.

Their mission has already saved up to 92 tonnes of plastic wrap a year – which is the equivalent of 4.2 million plastic bottles – and it’s already made a huge difference. ‘We’re a small family-run company so if we can do it, so can all the bigger companies,’ says Butcher’s spokesperson Rachel Collinson, who has led the plastic-free mission at Butcher’s. The ‘war on plastics’ has long been a personal passion for Collinson, and one that she brought over two years ago to a company that has been nourishing the nation’s dogs for over 30 years.

So, what kind of changes have Butcher’s put in place? In 2018, the company began manufacturing a new type of recyclable and biodegradable box in the UK, to house their nutritious canned food for dogs. The plastic shrink-wrap from multi-packs of cans was replaced with cardboard that comes from sustainable forests, where the trees are always replanted after they are harvested. The switch to cardboard instead of plastic was a huge task to coordinate – changing millions of packs in 1000’s of stores. Finally, their steel cans are plastic-free and infinitely recyclable, that means they can be easily and sustainably turned into new materials, like car parts, bicycles, or even more cans and trays once they’re finished being used to nourish our pets.


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