Petco Pilots In-Store Plastic Recycling Initiative

Petco has launched an in-store recycling pilot in approximately 40 stores that will collect plastic waste from customers as well as its own operations. Shoppers will be able to recycle non-curbside plastic waste, such as used plastic shopping bags and other plastic film, and the retailer will recycle shrink wrap from pallets, can cases and small-bag dog food, diverting incremental plastic waste from landfills.

The program, which Petco hopes to expand, is a partnership with the Trex recycling collection program NexTrex. Trex, which manufactures wood-alternative decking products, will convert the waste into composite decking material for commercial and residential use.

Petco’s overall sustainability strategy also includes:

  • The development of owned product lines featuring more sustainable options, such as the Reddy line of pet accessories made from recycle plastic;
  • In-store programs such as So Phresh cat litter, which allows customers to buy one filled plastic bucket of litter that they can return with again and again for refills; and
  • A national 10-cent bag fee to encourage shoppers to reduce single-use plastic consumption via bagless purchases or reusable bags. This has been implemented across all stores not impacted by local bag bans or tax ordinances.

Feedback from customers and Petco employees was the genesis of the pilot. Petco data reveals that pet shoppers are more interested in sustainable products and may be less price sensitive, with 49% of respondents saying they try to buy sustainable products for their pets.

Petco has been busy in 2023: in January, the retailer merged its two membership programs under the Vital Care banner; in February Petco expanded its partnership with Canadian Tire, with plans to have shop-in-shops in virtually all the retailer’s locations; and it debuted subscription deliveries of fresh dog food in March.