Why Sustainable Packaging Is Important To Us

Why Sustainable Packaging Is Important To Us

Here at THE PACK, we like to do things a little differently. It’s this ethos that led us to be one of the first UK companies to offer a plant-based alternative to traditional wet dog food, and we proudly extend this thinking into every aspect of our business, including our packaging!

You might have received our packaging and thought, why triangles? Or maybe you haven’t thought much about it at all (we don’t blame you, life is busy - we get it), but the design of our packaging is super important to us, and our reasoning behind the triangle is more interesting than you might think…

First, let’s test our metal and chat about our cans. Not only do they look beautiful, they’re not just a pretty face. The metal tins are designed to keep your pooches meals fresh and keep those pesky bacterias out so as a result do their own activism against food waste! 

So, why did we choose metal cans? Well, when we conducted extensive research with our sustainable packaging team Innovate To Zero, we found we had three options: a flexible pouch, a composite retortable carton, or a metal food can. Bare with us whilst we take you on a Goldilocks-like tale, only this time it’s about dog food packaging - the sequel everyone wanted.

Let’s talk about our first option, pouches. For retort purposes (when the food is cooked in the packaging), pouches are usually made of a combination of plastic and foil layers. Most people forget to wash these before recycling, so due to food residue and their composition, they end up in landfill, something we wanted to avoid.

Our second option was a composite, retortable carton. Although recyclable, they’re not widely recycled in the UK at the moment. The likelihood is that it will end its life in a landfill site or an incinerator. Still not great. So that left us with one option: the metal can.

We chose the metal can as metal is one of the most widely recycled packaging types available. Metal is a true example of a circular material, and the chances are that your can will live on as a bus, plane, or simply a humble can again and again and again (and again and again and again… you get the idea).

Triangles are our favourite shape...

So, let’s talk about those triangles, shall we? When we set out on this packaging journey, we agreed it needed to be a few things: 1. Sustainable. 2. Practical 3. Beautiful.

Working with sustainable packaging experts and world-leading design agency Pentagram, we decided that zero to landfill and plastic free was the way to go, which meant using fully recyclable materials for all our packaging. The funky triangular multipack used to ship a three-can order was inspired by our understanding of the journey through the supply chain. We discovered that if cans are damaged, there is a greater tendency for pawrents to discard the food, increasing waste. The carbon pawprint of waste will far outweigh that of any additional packaging, so this was key to our decision.

The triangle boxes, whilst also being incredibly funky and protecting your dog’s dinner, are all made of paper and are 100% recyclable too, even down to the anti-tamper tape we use which is often backed with silicone. Plus, our corrugated material typically contains 70% recycled content and absolutely all our paper materials come from FSC sources.

Tackling food waste was also a key priority for us and our sustainable mission. So, we undertook some consumer research and found out that many pawrents cover half used dog food cans with tin foil when storing them in the fridge. Not only is tin foil non-recyclable, it’s also not a great way to keep food fresh as it’s not 100% air tight, meaning your pup’s food will go off quicker than you can say “walkies!”. So, we decided to provide a handy recyclable metal lid with all of our orders, solving the issue.

We have taken as much care to select our packaging suppliers as we have to craft our product. Where available, our suppliers have their own sustainability programs in place to minimise their carbon footprint. Many have won multiple awards for their sustainability best practices, you might even say that they’re the ‘top dogs’ of the sustainability world.

We hope this blog has shed some light on the why’s, what’s and wherefore’s of our packaging, and our sustainable mission as a company. We’re so proud to be at the front of the pack for sustainability in pet food, and we can’t wait to see where our game-changing approach takes us.

Author: Meg Rhys-Challis 


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