UnPacked21, the first sustainable packaging event for the pet industry wrapped up on February 24th, 2021.  The two day event presented extensive content from speakers, including packaging experts, recycling professionals and circular economy experts.

For many attendees, this was their first introduction to sustainable packaging, while others brought expertise and a deeper understanding of the complexity of the packaging economy as it applies to the pet industry.

Dozens of ideas to change the way the pet industry uses packaging were shared during event.  Change takes first steps, and there are many specific actions well within reach for every pet industry company. More than 65% of attendees identified a specific action they will take a result of the event but if you didn’t make it to UnPacked this year, don’t fret – we’ve made it easy to take action with a top 10 list below.

Here is a list of the top 10 actions identified during UnPacked21:

  1. Increase your recycled content. Regardless of the type of packaging you are currently using, ask your packaging supplier for higher recycled-content materials. Even small increases will help nudge the circular recovery of materials.
  2. Optimize the size of your packaging; this can decrease the total amount of packaging you use, and will also save you money. Check out how Zuke’s did it. 
  3. Re-imagine the opportunities that e-commerce might allow to eliminate packaging when possible. 
  4. Standardize your packaging labeling, most notably the How2Recycle label.
  5. Move forward with a Life Cycle Analysis to fully understand the environmental and social impacts of your packaging choices.
  6. Transition your flexible packaging to a mono-material that can be recycled
  7. Make a 2025 packaging commitment and share it externally to create accountability for your whole company,
  8. Join a collaborative effort like the US Plastics Pact.
  9. Download some of PSC’s tools – case studies of what others have completed, our packaging supplier check-list, or our deep dive on alternatives to multi laminate packaging
  10. Join the Pet Sustainability Coalition. Participate and contribute in shifting the pet industry toward a better future for pets, people and planet.

Collaborative approaches are frequently identified as ways to advance the circular economy of pet food packaging.

Not every action will be the right fit for your company at this time. That’s okay. Pick one, two, maybe three that are the easiest to act on now. And remember, you are not alone. Need help? Contact Us Now.

PSC