SimplyCats Vet Clinic in Houghton, are urging cat owners throughout the North East to bring their empty pet food pouches to the practice where they will be recycled.
The veterinary surgery, which is on Front Street in Fencehouses, have teamed up with TerraCycle, who specialise in recycling ‘hard-to-recycle’ materials and possess the technology to turn them into a wide range of plastic products including fence posts and benches.
Veterinary nurse Lucy Rose-Smith has kick-started the campaign after she discovered that the team throw away more than 4,300 plastic food pouches, which cannot be recycled via domestic recycling bins, a year.
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She said: “Our team absolutely love cats and between us we have 16, but until recently it had never really struck me how much of our pet food packaging goes to landfill.
“I’m conscious that we need to look after our environment and at SimplyCats Vet Clinic we always strive to limit our carbon footprint. By making some simple changes, we can all make a difference.
“Our team members have more than the usual number of pet cats, but I counted the amount of pet food packaging we get through at home and our cats consume 84 wet-food packets in a week – that’s a whopping 4,368 each year!”
Lucy’s colleagues were keen to get behind her campaign to dramatically reduce the waste, with her pet food pouch collecting station is now up and running and cat owners throughout the area can now drop off rinsed out and dried packaging to be sent for recycling.
She has commented that the new scheme will give cat owners a more sustainable choice in where the waste goes.
Lucy added: “Cats provide wonderful companionship but the amount of waste going to landfill from their food is shocking. We had to act to give cat owners a more sustainable choice.
“We’re now regularly delivering large volumes of used pouches to TerraCycle where they are processed and made into a wide range of new plastic goods.”