Pet food packs will find new life as outdoor products following a partnership between Mars Petcare Australia and the REDcycle recycling program.

The Australian pet food company wanted to join the program in order to find a new route for its dry pet food bags and flexible pouches.

As a result of its agreement with REDcycle, millions of bags of post-consumer plastic will be recycled rather than sent to landfill.

Once collected, REDcycle, together with Australian manufacturer Replas, recycles the plastic into a range of sturdy products suitable for use in schools, parks and public spaces. The range includes outdoor furniture, decking, dog agility and human fitness circuits, signage, bollards and traffic control products.

Mars Petcare Australia general manager Barry O’Sullivan said the company wanted to "share the responsibility" for the packaging’s best end-of-life outcome.

“Our Sustainable in a Generation Plan is designed to help us grow in ways that are good for people, good for the planet, and good for business," he said. 

"Now, we have a solution to help combat environmental harm and be a leader in sustainability.”

REDcycle is a supermarket-based recycling program that invites consumers to gather together their empty soft plastic packaging and unwanted shopping bags and return them to their nearest Coles or Woolworths supermarket for recycling.

In partnership with Coles and Woolworths, REDcycle currently provides Australian consumers with over 900 retail drop-off points. By partnering with REDcycle, Mars Petcare Australia joins FMCG brands such as Helga’s, Kellogg’s, Arnott’s and Birds Eye.

Currently, just over three million pieces of soft plastic (bags and packaging) returned by Australian consumers are recovered and recycled every week by RED Group.

The model is aligned with the objectives of the Australian Packaging Covenant and provides a way for each participant in the product packaging lifecycle, from brand owners to retailers and consumers, to play a role in a more sustainable outcome.

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