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Pet Brands Nature’s Fresh, KARMA, Neutralize Plastic Waste

Pet food brands are partnering with sustainability-focused organizations and innovating package design to offset plastic waste.

Nature's Fresh and KARMA pet food packaging
Nature's Fresh and KARMA pet food packaging
Freshpet, KARMA

Pet food brands Nature’s Fresh and KARMA are now helping more than just furry friends with a combination of sustainability-focused initiatives. Both brands have independently set out to offset plastic waste from pet food packaging through earth-friendly partnerships and innovative package design.

Nature’s Fresh Green Transformation

Nature’s Fresh, under well-known parent company Freshpet, relaunched in August after a one-year transformation to make the brand “the most planet-friendly offering in the pet-food industry,” a release from the company says.

“We’ve been on a journey to accelerate our commitment to creating products that are not only better for our pets but are kinder to the planet,” Scott Morris, Freshpet president and co-founder, says in the release. That commitment spans from the brand’s ingredient sourcing to its packaging and waste management, and includes a goal to be 100% regeneratively sourced by 2025.

Nature’s Fresh packaging is engineered to reduce food waste by ensuring food remains fresh and healthy for up to 24 weeks unopened in a refrigerator, says Kate Crook, Freshpet vice president of communications.

The brand achieves this while using “up to 20 times less consumer packaging per serving by weight than competing wet food brands sold in cans and plastic trays,” Crook adds.Nature's Fresh film chub packNature's Fresh film chub packFreshpet

Nature’s Fresh packaging includes film chub packs and flexible film stand-up pouches, both of which are multilayer in structure in order to attain the impressively long shelf life that limits food waste. However, these multilayer films are not curbside recyclable. So, the brand uses third-party offsets to achieve 100% plastic neutrality through a partnership with plastic recovery coalition rePurpose Global

For every Nature’s Fresh pet food package sold, rePurpose Global collects and removes the same amount of ocean-bound plastic waste from countries with poor waste collection infrastructure. Nature's Fresh flexible film stand-up pouchNature's Fresh flexible film stand-up pouchFreshpet

This ensures that ocean-bound plastic is disposed of properly, and “empowers waste collectors on the frontline by providing them dignified livelihoods through additional income, so that they can gain access to better education and health care,” Crook says.

To further offset plastic packaging waste, Nature’s Fresh has also partnered with recycling company TerraCycle, which can recycle 100% of Freshpet’s packaging through its advanced waste management systems, Crook says.

Pet parents can participate in this program at no cost, as Freshpet pays all shipping, handling, and processing fees. Customers request a prepaid shipping envelope, fill it with used Freshpet packaging, and ship it to Freshpet to take care of the rest.

“Our team understands that aligning with the right partners helps make us a smarter and more accountable brand,” Morris says. “We’re making decisions that are driving change, and I’m proud that Nature’s Fresh can take a leading role in helping transform our business as well as the industry.”

   Read this story on other advancements in sustainable pet food packaging.

KARMA Recycling Through TerraCycle

KARMA, a Mars, Incorporated plant-first dog food brand, is also neutralizing plastic waste through a partnership with TerraCycle.

KARMA plant-first dog food packagingKARMA plant-first dog food packagingKARMAU.S. pet parents can now mail in their KARMA dry pet food packaging with a prepaid shipping label. TerraCycle then cleans and melts the packaging into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products, a TerraCycle release says.

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with TerraCycle to give pet parents an easy way to further contribute to a more sustainable world,” Jean-Paul Jansen, vice president of marketing at Mars Petcare North America, says in the release. 

Tom Szaky, TerraCycle founder and CEO, shares a similar sentiment, that “The partnership with the KARMA brand gives [pet parents] the opportunity to divert pet food packaging, something many of us use every day, from landfills while keeping the material in-use for future applications.”

The benefits of the partnership don’t stop there though, as each shipment of KARMA pet food packaging earns pet parents TerraCycle points, which can be converted into cash donations for schools and nonprofits of their choosing.

TerraCycle points are earned at a rate of 100 points per pound, and can be redeemed for a donation of one cent per point, says Celina Mazon, TerraCycle associate, public relations. Organizations that have received donations through this partnership include Eisenhower Elementary School, World Wildlife Fund, American Red Cross, and Feeding America.

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