How to go plastic free with pet food

Posted by Steph Kernot on

Here in New Zealand, we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. We rank second in the entire world, just behind the US. 

There’s no doubt that we love our animals, they are a part of our families. And we always want to give them the best… However, it also adds up to a lot of waste. 

Our pets can produce almost as much waste as their owners, from toys to clothing, to beds, and pet food. So we are here to help you reduce the waste of your pet.

Today, we discuss top tips on going #PlasticFree for your pets' food items. 

Unfortunately today there are hardly any options available that are plastic-free. These steps require a little more effort but are worth it in the end. Better for your pets, and better for the planet. Doing this will reduce waste significantly. 

For instance, if you feed your pet 1x individual can per day, that’s 365 cans you can save in one year. 

Just a PSA about canned food. Canned foods are lined with plastic. This plastic contains Bisphenols. Avoiding canned food is the most effective way to reduce bisphenol exposure. Bisphenols are used in aluminum can linings to reduce corrosion. One bisphenol, BPA, has all the molecular characteristics of an obesogen, a term coined in 2006 to describe chemicals that potentially make us and our pets fatter. 

Fortunately, studies have shown you can reduce BPA levels by as much as two-thirds by avoiding canned foods – in just a few days’ time. That’s why we have seen a push towards BPA-free cans. Check with your pet’s food supplier to be sure of the plastic lining used. 

I am in no-way a vet, but I have done extensive research on this subject. Make sure you consult your vet if changing your pet’s diet. 

Now to our top tips:

  1. Use your power as a consumer! There aren’t many sustainable options for pet food. Considering it is an insanely large industry, most mass-market products come totally in plastic. Use your power as a consumer, to buy alternative products in bulk and cook your own if possible. 
  2. Give your pets your food! Well, some of it. If you are cooking meat and vegetables. Your pet can have some too. You must be sure to avoid garlic, onion, and spices. Add them to your food at the end. This way, you know exactly what has gone into their food. You know where you have sourced their food (you can get your meat in reusable containers from your butchers now), and also your veg in your reusable bags. There’s a great list of items to include/avoid here: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-people-foods-your-dog-can-eat 
  3. Baking your own pet treats. This way you can be sure what is going into the treats and without excessive packaging. There are heaps on google, but I will post some recipes in the next blog. 
  4. Sourcing pet food, such as biscuits and treats from food refillers, and bulk stores. 

Our top time-saving tips for beginners to #PlasticFree

  1. Use stainless steel bowls. These are extremely long-lasting, and you can take them with you. They don’t break easily, unlike ceramic, and can be easily sterilized in the dishwasher. Plastic bowls have a lot of chemical additives in them and aren’t durable. 

Shop our range here: https://plasticfreepets.net/collections/dog-bowls

  1. Avoid pet treats that are individually wrapped. These produce heaps of waste that can’t easily be disposed of. Source treats in bulk and in a glass jar if possible. 
  2. If you have to buy biscuits in plastic packaging, make sure you buy ones that can be recycled in the soft plastics recycling scheme at the supermarkets.
  3. If you must use cans, use large bulk ones to cut down on individual portion waste. 

We are all about progress, over perfection. Comment below if you have tried any of these steps or have your own tips to share. 


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