You’ve probably heard the saying “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” which in many cases is true. When it comes to food it’s not so simple. Packaging quality affects the nutritional composition of the food inside, and, if the materials used to create the packaging aren’t environmentally friendly, eventually there just won’t be the quality ingredients available in nature that we depend on to create our whole-food recipes.
In this blog, we wanted to share with you ProDog’s approach to packaging. If you take a minute to read on, you’ll discover why buying ProDog raw food is not only a choice to put your dog’s well-being first but also to put the planet first too.
We are all about sustainability… for the planet, our products and ultimately our most important customers (the dogs).
Why We Care
The core fundamentals of our company are based on making a shift back to the way nature intended. We provide 100% natural ethically sourced food for dogs. Our recipes are species-specific; meaning they are based on the way canine species ate in the wild. Simply put, food direct from mother nature.
We are clear that damage to our environment impacts the quality of the produce our planet can generate, therefore we invest in ensuring our actions as a food manufacturer are as ecologically friendly as possible.
We discovered that most food packaging is single use plastic or contains single use plastic, and that only 17% of this plastic gets recycled. So we decided we would do better – we committed to never adding to the damage caused to our planet.
What our packaging is made from and why
We’ve taken a huge amount of time to investigate and consider all of the options when it comes to our packaging. We’ve consulted with the experts and created the best packaging possible with 2 key aims in mind:
- To respect and conserve the environment
- To protect the nutritional content of the food inside
As a result, every part of your ProDog delivery packaging is recyclable and reusable
- Made From Polypropylene (PP)
Both the tub and lid are made from PP which is 100% recyclable, not considered ‘single use’, fully approved for food contact and BPA free. BPA is a chemical found in some plastics that has been linked to serious health conditions.
PP is “widely recyclable” meaning over 79% of local authorities will recycle from home collections (the highest recyclability rate in the UK for food produce approved packaging material). PP is in demand for the manufacture of a very wide range of reusable items such as buckets, car interiors, carpets, furniture, watering cans, storage bins etc. so once it’s been recycled it can be used over and over again.
You can check here if your local authority recycles PP https://laportal.wrap.org.uk/ORIS.aspx
- Brightly Coloured
The distinctive colour of our packaging isn’t just for show, there’s a method to our yellow obsession. Firstly, being brightly coloured allows recycling services to easily identify our tubs. Plastics which aren’t easily identifiable as PP, such as those made from black plastic or neutral colours often end up in landfill by mistake.
We also chose yellow because we know that our most important customer (the dogs) are bi-coloured, meaning they only see blues and yellows. We wanted to ensure our tubs were easily recognisable to our furry friends too.
- The Label
Is also made from PP, called an “In-Mould Label” (IML) meaning the entire pack is made from the same ‘mono’ material and therefore increasing ease of recyclability. Unlike other food packaging with a self-adhesive label applied or cardboard sleeve, adding another material element decreases the likelihood that the packaging will be recycled.
- Wool Lining
In order to keep your order safe during transit, we’ve opted for eco-friendly, compostable, wool liners in your delivery box. These liners act as insulation keeping your food frozen and at peak quality. Our wool liners can be composted at home, returned to us or reused around your home. Check out how in our “How you can help“.
- Reusable Tubs
The plastic we use is not “single use” plastic, meaning that our tubs can be reused. Our ProDog community have come up with some creative ideas on ways to reuse them around the home, read on to find out more.
We’re also mindful of our carbon footprint in relation to the distance our packaging needs to travel to reach us. We’ve sourced the closest possible suppliers for the specific
materials we’ve chosen to use; wool linings from the UK and high quality PP plastic from Denmark.
Why we don’t use bio-degradable packaging
Our vision for the future of ProDog’s packaging is to use fully bio-degradable packaging. This is a few years away yet for several reasons.
We know that plastics get a bad press for the damage they are doing to our eco-systems. Legitimate bad press in our view, which is why we do all we can to prevent our packaging from ending up in landfills or worse in our ecological systems. You may ask why not use a different material? Our answer, because there simply isn’t a material other than plastic that safely retains the nutritional composition of the food contained in it for the length of time food producers need it to.
According to Sarah Greenwood of The Green Alliance, using alternative materials which provide the same level of protection through the whole supply chain will:
Increase the weight of the packaging by 3.6 times, increase energy use by 2.2 times and increase your carbon dioxide emissions by 2.7%
Most manufacturers wouldn’t use packaging if they didn’t have to because, to put it bluntly, it’s expensive. But food has to be packaged in a way that maintains its nutritional composition without toxicity and prolonging the shelf life of their produce. Good quality packaging is necessary to maximise the efficiency of the food chain; without that food gets wasted. Food waste is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions.
Why bioplastics aren’t a solution yet
So, the most logical next step solution seems to be using bio-degradable plastic. But with only around 170 industrial composting plants in the UK, there simply are not adequate facilities to compost large volumes of bio-degradable plastic yet.
You might ask why that is when food waste is already being composted? The answer… the treatment infrastructure set up in the UK to process food waste is a very different process to the treatment needed to compost bio-degradable plastic and so huge investments by the government would be needed to change this.
On top of this, the jury is still out as to whether current bio-plastics are more environmentally friendly than traditional plastics when all aspects of their life cycle are considered: land use, pesticides and herbicides, energy consumption, water use, greenhouse gas and methane emissions, biodegradability, recyclability and more all add to their carbon footprint.
For now, we are content in the knowledge our packaging is as environmentally friendly as it possibly can be. In the meantime, we’ll continue to support campaigns to bring about changes in our waste disposal systems here in the UK and stay informed about the progress made in developing bio-plastics that do reduce our carbon footprint.
Our aim is to one day realise our vision for complete mother nature-friendly packaging.
How you can help
ProDog’s Triple R approach to taking care of the planet
Simply rinse out your tubs and put them into your home recycling bags or bins.
Wool liners are compostable, you can choose to compost them at home or contact your local authority to find out if they are accepted in compostable collections.
Our community have found some wonderful ways to reuse our tubs. Planters, pencil cases, draw tidies, cupboard tidies….
Our wool liners can also be reused in many ways: fillings for cushions/ soft furnishings, lining hamster cages, pet beds, draft excluders, liners to protect laptop/tablets, insoles for wellies, craft projects, insulation for pipes …..
Go on bring out your creative side and share your ideas with us in our social media community “The Rawbellion” you’ll inspire others to reuse their packaging too.
Send back the wool liners and we’ll send your doggo raw treats as a thank you in your next order.
- Save a minimum of 3 separate delivery box wool linings (6 liners)
- Package them
- Fill out our returns form & read the instructions
- Attach an address label using the address on our returns form
- Pop the returns form into your parcel & ship them back to us
So there you have it, why being a ProDog customer means doing your best for your doggo and your planet. As always, if you have any questions about our packaging, products or raw feeding in general, drop us a line at [email protected] or message us via our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram