Sustainable Pet Food & Care Packaging Guide

We’re constantly inundated with new sustainable initiatives; this is great as it means we’re making massive shifts toward a more circular economy and a better future for generations to come. However, it also means that, as a business or brand owner, you should be keeping on top of the latest packaging news and advancements, which change and adapt to the market demands very quickly.

The rise of the sustainability movement is owed mostly to the shifts in the way consumers think about the products they buy and the awareness of their carbon footprint as an individual and as a family or as a business.

Not only that, consumers are demanding more transparency from businesses, meaning it’s harder for a business to be able to carry on in ways that are against a consumer’s beliefs. There is evidence that consumers will favour more switched on and thoughtful brands over those deemed to be set in their ways.

Therefore, it makes good business sense for a company to pivot to more sustainable practices, now more than ever. 

That’s why we’ve condensed some of our previous blogs and guides down into this easy-to-read sustainable packaging guide. It’s aimed specifically at the pet food and care industry, but many of the packaging solutions featured here can also apply to other industries such as sports nutrition and food & drink. 

Why should I be concerned with creating a more sustainable business?

Customers are no longer willing to accept over-packaged products from brands that are fully capable of bringing sustainability practices to their businesses.

As things picked back up and customers’ frustrations surrounding sustainability boiled to the surface, we saw a huge influx of enquiries from our customers who were concerned that customers would start to depart from their business if they didn’t do something about their packaging. 

Which Sustainable Solutions can Law Print provide?

PE/PE is used for a variety of different applications. For us, this takes the form of pet food bags mostly but extends to all manner of different industries such as confectionery, beauty, sports nutrition and non-food items. 

BOPP Woven is used for pet food but can be used for building and gardening products too, including aggregates and seeds. 

Paper is a more traditional material, primarily used for flour, sugar, pasta, rice, sweets, coffee and much more. 

Brands and consumers should realise that most products cannot be packed in ALL paper packaging and that switching to fully or partially paper-made packaging is not the perfect answer to sustainability itself. Transitioning to single polymer packaging and being transparent about the necessity of using plastic packaging for certain product applications should be the direction that brands take going forward.

Made from PE/PE or PP/PP, consumers can be assured that not only the product is completely protected but that their concerns regarding sustainability have been addressed.

I’m interested! Which packaging should I choose for my product?

We’re able to provide recyclable packaging in the following formats. 

Pouch – suitable for pet treats, reptile substrate, aquarium gravel and more.

Flat Bottom/Quad Seal – ideal for large quantities of kibble, cat litter, horse feed and more.

Woven Sack – also ideal for heavyweight applications due to its strong and puncture-resistant attributes.

Paper – can be used for treats and kibble, but may need a lining to protect, depending on the properties of the product which will be packed.

Side note 👉 Paper packaging in pet food can be something of a controversial material today within the realms of sustainability. Some papers need a plastic lining to protect the paper from grease that may be present in the pet food. This means it’s not fully recyclable, yet some companies claim that these bags are recyclable when in fact they’re not. We’ve written a blog about this subject here

Will value-added options increase brand loyalty?

It’s not only the packaging material itself you should be concerned about. It’s the long term use of the packaging of your product too. For example, you may want to create a more valuable experience for a consumer by adding a resealable zipper. This not only lessens food waste but also earns respect from your customers by giving them a solution to a problem they may be facing, such as keeping treats or kibble fresher for longer.

We supply pet food bags with an array of options that can have a significant impact on the way in which a user will interact with your pet food product. For example:

Reseal Zipper – As well as preserving a product, zippers have the added benefit of locking in aromas while also preventing unwanted leaks and spills

Aplix® Zipper – The hook & loop closure system has been adopted in recent projects for powdery products or snack-sized pouches that need to be close and re-open quickly and often

Easy Open Cuts – Tear notches work great for many products and are especially popular in the food and pet food industries where the speed at which contents can be accessed are important for busy customers

Laser Scoring – Combining laser scoring with tear notches, scoring the packaging can create an easy opening solution for many pet food formats including kibble and treats.

Punched Out Handle – As well as offering added convenience, handles can be perfect for extending an existing product range, providing a size variation for customers who prefer to buy in larger quantities

Side Gusset Handle – Side gusset handles are perfect for carrying products that are heavier, and we are able to provide bags and pouches in a variety of sizes and shapes, with sturdy small and large adhesive handles and carrying up to 15Kg weights.

When designing my sustainable packaging and branding, how can I make sure that the recyclability of the bag is advertised?

Keep it simple

Don’t overwhelm your audience with huge text about how you’re saving the planet one bag at a time. Outline your goals briefly and keep clear and brief on your website. Provide a link to the page and let customers navigate there on their own. You could just add a logo or label to reinforce the recyclability of the bag.

Make it pop

Your design doesn’t need to shout sustainability from the rooftops if you don’t want it to! You don’t need to keep to a specific colour or use particular imagery. Use whatever branding you deem necessary and let your creativity run wild.

Enjoying our sustainable packaging guide so far? Want to learn more about Law Print?
Visit our about us page.

I need a little bit more convincing that sticking with plastic is a good idea!

We understand! However, plastic gets a lot of bad press when actually it has a myriad of benefits that aren’t talked about as much as they should be! 

It wouldn’t be a sustainable packaging guide without explaining the benefits of plastic. Plastic is:

Resource-efficient: plastic packaging saves packaging mass, energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Without it, we would use 2-3 times more resources. 

Safe: plastic is shatter resistant, containers do not break when they are dropped or knocked over, this makes them particularly useful for particular environments, such as the bathroom, around children, at the pool, by the beach or on the go.

Hygienic: plastic keeps products free from contamination which is useful for medical packaging. This can then be filled and sealed hygienically without any human intervention. (e.g. sterile syringes).

Lightweight: plastic packaging is lightweight and can take up less space than alternatives, which means lighter loads for planes and trucks and lower emissions.

Secure: plastic can be sealed shut or moulded into a safety mechanism (e.g. childproof locks on medication)

Durable: because plastic packaging is extremely durable, it can be thin, so it uses fewer resources and takes up less space for transport. 

Versatile: Plastics can be blown, injected or thermomoulded and are then used to package pastes and sauces. A variety of decorative effects and colours are also available.

Recyclable: plastic packaging can be recycled many times to create new products, the rates of recycling and the number of different plastics that are recycled in the UK have been increasing.

How can I make sure my product has 100% recyclable packaging?

That’s easy – choose Ready2Recycle, of course! It is plastic but it is 100% made of a single polymer structure (PE or PP) and therefore is fully recyclable.

In 2019, Law Print introduced the Ready2Recycle range to the market. Since then, it has become a staple for many of our customers, seeking fully recyclable packaging for their brands.

However, if you’re not completely ready to switch over to a mono material bag, there are still plenty of options that can make your current bags more sustainable. Most of the options outlined above can be applied to a conventional bag too.

Where can I learn more about creating a circular economy using packaging?

Enjoyed this guide and interested in reading more about sustainable packaging? Click on the images below to read about each subject and to find out more about how Law Print can help you to create a circular economy within your business today.



If your brand is looking to invest in sustainable packaging, we will guide you through the entire print process. Providing recommendations along the way to improve efficiency, reduce costs and add untold value to the end product.

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

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