PHOENIX — PetSmart announced April 30 the launch of two pilot programs aimed at helping pet owners recycle old toys and used pet food bags. The news comes in tandem with the release of PetSmart’s 2023 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which highlights three key pillars of the company’s strategy: Happy & Healthy Pets, Empowered People and Responsible Stewards.

According to Euromonitor, 70% of pet parents today are interested in “creating a positive impact on the environment through everyday actions.” The big box pet retailer is taking this sentiment in stride and leveraging its position in the pet retail market to bring consumers closer to more sustainable products and programs.

“We hear that our pet parents want to join us in reducing our impacts on the planet and operating ethically and responsibly,” said Joanne Dwyer, vice president of corporate social responsibility and corporate communications at PetSmart. “We can’t solve the challenges we face alone. Collaboration — with peers, business partners, trade associations, animal welfare organizations and pet parents — is a cornerstone of our CSR strategy. That’s one of the many reasons we’re excited to partner with West Paw, PetPlate and TerraCycle to make purpose-driven brands more accessible and bring new opportunities for engagement to pet parents.”

The retailer added PetPlate’s human-grade, vet-developed fresh pet food products to more than 700 stores earlier this year.

PetSmart has teamed up with TerraCycle to facilitate an in-store recycling program for used pet food bags. Through the program, which will roll out at 100 stores to start, consumers will be able to bring used pet food bags back to the store to be collected and recycled by TerraCycle. Eventually, PetSmart intends to expand the program across its entire retail footprint.

The retailer has also become the first national retailer to join forces with West Paw’s Join the Loop® takeback program. During the pilot stage of the program, more than 75 PetSmart stores will be equipped with collection boxes where consumers can return “thoroughly loved” West Paw dog toys. According to the retailer, the toys are collected and sanitized, ground and remanufactured to create new Zogoflex and Seaflex toys, which can be infinitely recycled, West Paw added.

PetSmart noted it will also be testing the takeback of other branded plastic and rubber toys.

In addition to launching the two recycling programs, PetSmart is also expanding its environmentally friendly offerings by stocking more products from West Paw, PetPlate, and its own private label subsidiary Only Natural Pet.

Read more from PetSmart’s 2023 CSR Report here.

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