Mars Petcare UK and recycling firm TerraCycle have launched a nationwide pet food packaging recycling programme in the UK, which will be led by the Whiskas and James Wellbeloved brands.

‘The Pet Food Recycling Programme’ is the first of its kind in Europe and will offer pet owners a free solution to turn waste packaging into items such as benches and fence posts.

Through the scheme, pet owners can drop off their used pet food packaging at a number of designated public drop-off locations positioned around the country, or free-post them directly to TerraCycle for recycling.

Once the pouches have been collected, they will be sorted, cleaned and shredded. Any food residue is composted, and the packaging material is turned into useful plastics items.

Deri Watkins, managing director of Mars Petcare UK, said: “The Petcare category is a uniquely emotive one and we know that pet owners are some of the most engaged and passionate consumers when it comes to issues that affect animals and our planet. That’s why it is critical that the pet food industry responds to the challenges around recycling and plastics waste. Businesses like ours need to pioneer new responses to this problem and our new partnership with TerraCycle is an important part of this.”