When pet adoptions skyrocketed as a result of COVID-19, there was an increased demand for pet food resulting in a large volume of food packaging waste for pets.
According to the Pet Sustainability Coalition, 300 million pounds of pet food and treat bags are generated in the United States each year and more than 99% of those bags are not recycled. Walmart Inc., in conjunction with international recycling leader, TerraCycle, is doing something to reduce those numbers.
“Pet food packaging is an often overlooked waste stream,” said Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “Most don’t know that pet food packaging usually consists of several materials, in most cases aluminum and plastic, which excludes them from separate collection. That’s why this waste stream has been included in the Walmart Hub Recycling Program – to offer pet parents an easy way to provide the pets in their lives with the best nutrition, without feeling guilty about product waste by food packaging.
As part of the Walmart Hub Recycling Program, consumers are encouraged to bring all brands of pet food packaging to participating outlets in Springdale, Arkansas and Broken Arrow Walmart Supercenters, as well as Fayetteville , Arkansas, Sam’s Club. In addition to pet food packaging, Walmart Centers collect waste streams including skin care and beauty products, soft plastic food packaging, oral care products, sachets of beverages, packaging for home and garden supplies, coffee capsules, water filters, plastic bottles, clothing. , pet food packaging, plastic bags and shipping materials, plastic toys, ink cartridges and office supplies
To participate, shoppers may bring their accepted waste that is not recyclable curbside to designated recycling centers located outside of participating Walmart Supercenters and Sam’s Club locations. When the central station is full, TerraCycle will pick up and transport the waste to regional material recovery facilities where the waste will be sorted by material type and recycled into raw materials that can be used to make new products, such as playgrounds and park benches. For more information, entrants can visit https://corporate.walmart.com/community-recycling-hub.
The Walmart Community Recycling Center is open to any interested individual, school, office or community organization. For more information on TerraCycle’s recycling programs, visit www.terracycle.com.