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Recyclable Mono-material Pouch Uses One-Way Valve to Keep Soft Pet Chews Fresh

Pet food maker Mera is the first to use pre-made, mono-material, recyclable plastic FlexiBags for its semi-moist dog treats.


According to a recent Mondi/Dow Premium Pet Packaging survey, published in Packaging World last fall, pet-owning customers are beginning to pay more attention to the dog food bag itself, along with what’s inside it. In the same study, one in three pet owners claimed they would switch to a brand that offers more sustainable packaging. A more recent study by PMMI's Business Intelligence,Trends and Drivers Impacting the Pet Food Industry, also identified a trend on how people, particularly in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe, “humanize” our pets, and wish to give them the best, most luxurious food. More on that study here. This accompanies a continued shift of packaging towards pouches to prevent the deterioration of nutrients through oxidation.

With these trends in mind, German pet food maker Mera Tiernahrung GmbH partnered with Mondi to expand its product line to include a new type of dog food in the form of semi-moist croquettes. Mera realized that this type of pet food would require bespoke packaging to keep the chewable morsels fresh and moist for the duration of the product’s life span, since they tend to dry out and harden without barrier layers. But they also sought the competing necessity of sustainable design and recyclability.

Mondi's EcoSolutions suite of products and services, the company says, helps clients find the most effective and sustainable way to protect their products. Following the EcoSolutions team's advice, Mera selected a pouch material and design that addressed the practical aspects of food preservation without compromising on sustainability.

“The adoption of FlexiBag Recyclable for this application advances Mera down the path toward increased sustainability. Sustainability is a top priority for us, and working together with Mondi to make our packaging better for the environment was a logical next step to help meet our goals. Mera is the first company in the pet food sector to be certified by the TÜV Rheinland according to the ZNU standard of sustainable management,” says Mera Managing Director, Felix Vos.

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The bag has a tight seal to ensure long-term freshness and protect the pet food inside. The packaging is fitted with a special one-way valve, which only vents from the inside to the outside. With the help of this valve, the excess air can escape to improve transport when palletizing the filled packages. The resealable zipper makes it easy for the consumer to open and close the bag, and thanks to the attractive matte external finish, the package catches the eye on the shelf.

“Mondi’s FlexiBag Recyclable is a mono-material, polyethylene-based product with a barrier that is fully recyclable. This 12.5 kg bag is the largest of its kind using recyclable packaging in the pet food sector,” says Fitore Loshaj, Regional Sales DACH for Mondi Consumer Flexibles.

Institute cyclos–HTP GmbH, the Institute for Recyclability and Product Responsibility, independently tested and certified the material, rating it as 95% recyclable in those areas where suitable recycling infrastructures are in place. 

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