NEW YORK — On May 17, rePurpose Global announced that V-Dog, along with 19 other plant-based brands, has partnered with the company to reduce plastic pollution. According to rePurpose Global, V-Dog and the 19 other brands have enabled the removal of significant amounts of plastic waste from the environment, equaling more than 27 million plastic bags or about 3 million plastic bottles.

In a report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, cited by rePurpose Global, a plant-based diet has significant potential to reduce carbon footprints. Plant-based diets are not only gaining popularity in the human food space but are also gaining traction in the pet food industry. Companies like V-Dog are helping to fuel plant-based pet food trend to further sustainability efforts.

Despite the positive impacts, plant-based diets for both humans and pets can have on the environment, these impacts can be stunted by plastic packaging, which is usually non-recyclable and ends up in landfills and oceans. According to rePurpose Global, plastic packaging generates about 141 million tons of plastic waste annually. Pet food brands are also contributing to the plastic epidemic, producing an estimated 300 million lbs of plastic waste annually in the United States alone.

“Of the 5.8 billion metric tons of plastic waste generated globally over the past 70 years, only about 9% has been recycled, leaving the rest to be incinerated, sent to landfill or littered directly into the environment,” said Peter Wang Hjemdahl, chief advocacy officer and co-founder of rePurpose Global. “Time is running out. We are living in a plastic epidemic, where there is no single solution. Now more than ever, there is a critical need for like-minded brands to come together and use their collective strength to help tackle plastic pollution head-on.”

To reduce this statistic, V-Dog and 19 other plant-based brands have partnered with rePurpose Global and are working to reduce the amount of plastic in their packaging, as well as in their supply chains. The companies are also financing the recovery of nature-bound plastics through rePurpose Global’s initiatives.

Founded in 2005, V-Dog offers vegan and sustainable dog food products in an effort to help mitigate climate change. Since its launch, the company has been exploring ways to improve its packaging materials and supply chain. Through rePurpose Global, the pet food company has achieved plastic negative certification for its dog treats, committed to removing two times the amount of plastic it produces from the environment.

“At V-Dog, being vegan and sustainable is at the core of everything we do,” said Lindsay Rubin, vice president of operations at V-Dog. “We're always interested in learning and being better, which led us explore how to improve our packaging. We're so excited to partner with rePurpose Global as we work to improve our packaging supply chain and help our planet heal through waste removal.”

rePurpose Global’s Plastic Negative Certification is given to brands with ambitious plastic reduction initiatives throughout their supply chains and who aid in the removal of at least twice as much plastic waste they produce.

Currently, 230 brands throughout 26 countries are working with rePurpose Global in some capacity to measure, reduce or offset their plastic footprint, leading to the removal of 14 million pounds of plastic waste.

Read more about sustainability in the pet food and treat industry.