Choosing the right packaging material often becomes a balancing act between deciding what’s most sustainable for both the product and the environment.

But what if we told you that although paper may seem appealing, it might be plastic that is the answer you’re looking for for your pet food?

So, should I use plastic or paper packaging for my pet food business?

This is a question that frequently crops up. Pet food can be quite oily and when these fluids come into contact with the paper, they can degrade it, rendering it useless. In terms of pet food packaging, the paper used for products such as kibble or treats is usually lined with a layer of plastic, which protects the paper from grease and other contaminants that could affect the paper’s ability to hold a heavy load and the way the paper bags would look on shelf. This however means that the paper bag would not be as easily recycled as it is no longer a mono material bag.

Plastic, however, has the barrier properties and grease resistance needed to keep pet food contained and safe throughout its journey from factory to furry friend.

Plastic also has a lot of features available that add a little more convenience to a customer. Paper can also come with some of these features, but they would often render the bag unable to be recycled. 

  • Windows – Pet food brands especially have come to realise the benefits of windows, with it being regularly proven that many consumers are selecting products on the basis of being able to view the contents
  • Reseal Zipper – As well as preserving a product, zippers have the added benefit of locking in aromas and the product freshness, meaning greater palatability for longer, while also preventing unwanted leaks and spills
  • Aplix® Zipper – The hook & loop closure system has been adopted in recent projects for more powdery products but are also perfect for snack-sized pouches and larger bags that need to be closed and re-opened quickly and often

All our zipper options are suitable for our mono material PE/PE packaging solutions, with further improved low sealing properties. So, there is no need to compromise!

I need sustainable packaging, surely paper is the correct choice?

Paper is relatively easy to recycle back into itself. It is a non-synthetic material, and its manufacturing process doesn’t rely on chemical reactions so it can be repulped and given back into the paper mill/manufacturing supply chain reasonably quickly. The paper however can only be recycled around 6 times as the fibre in the paper becomes shorter each time it is processed, thus requiring larger amounts of virgin fibre to ensure the performance of the finished product.

Plastic PE/PE bags and films (LDPE “4” classification) can and should be recycled, however today this is not yet an easy process for consumers. At the moment, the equipment used by the councils that sort your single-stream recycling bins cannot always handle flexible, shapeless plastic. This is why a number of supermarket chains and large retailers have set up “return to store” schemes, where PE and also PP packaging can be brought back to the shops and recycled through this channel.

In conclusion, what do you think I should do?

Chat with us! The most important thing to remember is that your product may be very much suited to paper packaging, or it may need to be packed in plastic. Both options are valid and we provide both paper and plastic packaging, so can help you to make the decision. It is entirely your choice and what you believe is right for your brand.

Simply call us on 0161 440 7302 or send us a message. 

Want to skyrocket your business in 2023? Start with your packaging. We’re available for advice whenever you need us, so please speak to us!

Contact us on +44 (0) 161 440 7302 or follow this link to complete our contact form.


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