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Petco partners on recycling pilot that involves its own store ops and customers

Petco has partnered with Trex to recycle plastic waste from its customers and store operations.

Petco Health & Wellness Co. has launched a pilot that provides a second life for plastic waste — from both consumers and its store operations.

The pet supplies and services company is undertaking the initiative in partnership with Trex’s recycling collection program.  (Trex is the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking products.)

Consumers can bring in non-curbside plastic waste such as used shopping bags and other plastic film to Petco stores for recycling. In addition, Petco stores will recycle shrink wrap from pallets, can cases and small-bag dog food, among other items, diverting incremental plastic waste from landfills. Trex will convert the plastic waste into composite decking material for commercial and residential use. 

The pilot is currently in approximately 40 stores. Petco hopes to expand the program to additional areas within the Trex partnership network in the future. The retailer estimates the pilot could divert nearly 40,000 pounds of plastic waste, with the potential to grow to approximately 864,000 pounds when the program expands. 

Petco is the first large pet retailer to create an in-store recycling program that involves both its own store operations and engages customers.  

The recycling pilot resulted from direct feedback from consumers and Petco’s own employees, according to the company. It is a small of part of Petco’s overall sustainability strategy to provide sustainable solutions that improve pet health and wellbeing. Other examples of sustainable initiatives that Petco has enacted are below. 

• In-store programs such as So Phresh refillable cat litter, allows customers to buy one filled plastic bucket of litter and then bring the same bucket back to be filled again and again, eliminating the need for plastic packaging each time. Other items in the So Phresh product line use recycled, biobased, and durable materials.  

• A national 10¢ bag fee encourages customers to reduce single-use plastic consumption through bagless purchases or the use of reusable bags, whenever possible. This has been implemented across all Petco pet care centers not impacted by a local bag ban or tax ordinance. 

• Petco has developed owned product lines that feature more sustainable options, such as Reddy, a line of pet accessories made from recycled plastic.

Petco operates more than 1,500 stores across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, which offer merchandise, companion animals, grooming, training and a growing network of on-site veterinary hospitals and mobile veterinary clinics.

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