Petco, a pet products and food supplier, has announced the expansion of its recycling programme to 1,000 pet care centres across the US.

The company announced the initiative in its 2023 environmental, social and governance report. 

The programme, launched as a pilot in 41 stores in April 2023, focuses on recycling low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic, which is not typically accepted in kerbside recycling, thus diverting it from landfills.  

During the seven-month pilot, Petco said it successfully recycled four tonnes (t) of LDPE plastic without increasing its carbon footprint or labour costs. 

The company leveraged existing back-haul shipments to transport the LDPE from its locations to distribution centres, where it was then sent to a specialised plastic recycling partner.  

The recycled plastic was repurposed into composite decking material, used in both commercial and residential settings. 

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This collaborative effort involved multiple Petco teams, including sustainability, store operations, waste management, and distribution centre leads, all working towards the goal of reducing plastic waste.  

With the expansion to hundreds of Petco pet care centres nationwide, the company expects to divert approximately 150t of plastic from landfills annually. 

Petco sustainability VP Francesca Mahoney said: “Our LDPE plastic recycling programme is a great example of the sustainability mindset embedded in Petco’s operations and the key role our Petco partners play in improving our processes to help preserve the well-being of our planet. 

“We will continue prioritising these efforts so pets and pet parents can thrive in healthy environments for generations to come.” 

Petco, a fully integrated omnichannel provider of pet health and wellness products, has more than 1,500 pet care centres across the US, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.