PHILIPPINES – Food company Mars Petcare has partnered with Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) and Pet Express to launch a collection and recycling scheme for mixed post-consumer flexible pet food packaging in the Philippines.
As an extension of Thailand’s “SWAP Recycling” initiative, the scheme dubbed “Fur the Best” is hoped to contribute towards Mars’ goal of achieving 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable plastic packaging worldwide, as well as reducing its use of virgin plastic by 25%.
As a result of the collaboration, consumers can return clean and empty pet food packaging in 1kg, 3kg, and 8kg sizes from the Pedigree, Iams, or Whiskas brands, amongst others, to recycling drop-off points.
These are available in fifteen participating Pet Express locations in International Toyworld Inc. stores in Metro Manila, including Megamall, Mall of Asia, and Pet Express Estancia.
The collected materials will be passed on to PCX, who are set to recycle them into products such as benches for donation to pet shelters in the Greater Manila area.
Meanwhile, consumers can scan a QR code to register and answer a survey, for which they will receive one daily coupon of Php 100 that can be used as a discount on the same day as swapping.
Mars says this is one of the many sustainability initiatives that it is running to allow pet parents to recycle their plastic packaging.
To reach its goal, Mars Petcare will need not only recyclable materials but also collection and recycling infrastructure in place and the right consumer behavior to make it happen.
According to 2021 Who Cares, Who Does report by Kantar Philippines, 75% of Filipinos actively seek out brands that offer ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
In the Philippines, the passage of the Extended Producer Responsibility (RA 11898) law has heightened attention on solid waste management, particularly of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods post-consumer waste.
Johnny Racoma, General Manager for Mars Petcare in the Philippines, highlighted that Mars Petcare aims to meet consumer desire for more sustainable packaging options.
He said: “Consumers continue to be concerned not just about the content of what their pets eat but also about reducing their environmental impact.”
Packaging plays many vital roles: protecting ingredients, preserving freshness, conveying nutrition and health information, and differentiating brands.
However, it also poses real challenges. This means it can end up in landfills, as litter, or even find its way into the environment.
As a leader in manufacturing, Mars Petcare believes it is important to work to address environmental challenges and create a more sustainable future.
“As more Filipino shoppers are willing to shift to sustainable practices, this presents us an opportunity to invest in eco-friendly practices and take the lead in meeting consumer needs while reducing waste and increasing circularity,” concludes Racoma.
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