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Pet Blog

How to Recycle Plastic Packaging With TerraCycle

At ‘I and love and you’,’ we’re committed to giving our pets the very best—and that includes a healthy environment. That’s why we made 100% of our pet food packaging recyclable thanks to TerraCycle!

How TerraCycle Works

While you can hand off most metal cans and cardboard boxes to your local recycling programs, recycling soft plastics like the packaging of a pet food bag isn’t as straightforward. Normally, those plastic bags end up in a landfill, but we wanted to eliminate the idea of waste from our food entirely. That’s where TerraCycle comes in!

TerraCycle exists to recycle the waste that most conventional recycling systems can’t handle. They partner directly with companies like us who want to reduce waste and turn trash into something better. Best of all, we sponsor the program so it’s entirely FREE! We think you shouldn’t have to pay to do the right thing.

The steps to recycling with TerraCycle are simple:

  1. Collect your flexible plastic packaging from ILY in any old box you have around—the one your ILY goodies came in works perfectly!
  2. When your box is packed full, sign into your TerraCycle account and print a free shipping label (if you don’t have a printer handy, ask your local library if they offer printing services).
  3. Seal and label your box and mail it back to TerraCycle. Each pound of packaging you return earns you rewards points that you can use to make donations to your favorite charities. You can even use those points to offset your carbon footprint!

Opening a TerraCycle account is easy. Join the free program with just a few clicks and have all those pesky bags in the mail this afternoon.

What Happens to the Recycled Plastic?

TerraCycle has developed a state of the art collection and recycling program! To start with, all the packaging they collect in their national recycling programs goes to local processing facilities to reduce greenhouse gasses emitted from shipping. Once the waste reaches the processing facility, each type is sorted into different waste streams for processing.

The plastic products from our packaging are shredded and ground into smaller pieces, and then melted down into plastic pellets, flakes, or powder that are ready to be repurposed into something new. (We’re not about single-use plastics here!) That recycled packaging can become all sorts of new products, including:

  • Picnic tables
  • Park benches
  • Watering cans
  • Playground groundcover
  • Athletic fields
  • Storage containers
  • Shipping pallets
  • Construction materials

We can make a huge difference when we work together. We’ve already recycled 5,000 pounds of ‘I and Love and You’ packaging in 2022 (that’s the weight of 1,036 chihuahuas)!

Environmentally-friendly packaging is just one step toward creating truly eco-friendly products and an ethical company. You can read more about our commitment to sustainability to find out how we’re reducing waste across the board, including by donating any surplus pet food to make sure not a single heart-shaped kibble goes to waste.

If you want to step up the recycling in your own home, see what else TerraCycle has to offer! You can start recycling more household waste than just ILY packaging with their Zero Waste Box™ program.

Committing to sustainable products doesn’t have to be hard when you have the right partners! We’ve gotta leave a clean and healthy planet for future pets (oh, and their humans too).