At Open Farm, we’re on a mission to Do Some Good, and we’ll stop at nothing to provide pet parents with the highest quality nutrition and strictest ethical sourcing standards. Our obsession with only sourcing the very best has led us to set some ambitious goals; from exclusively sourcing animal welfare certified meats, to committing to reduce our carbon emissions by 42% over the next decade. We set out to do things better, and that means doing them differently and obsessing over every detail.
When we were founded in 2014, we recognized that the pet food industry generated a massive amount of waste; in fact, Pet Sustainability Coalition estimates that 300 million pounds of plastic pet food and treat bags are generated in the United States each year and about 99% of that ends up in landfills. To address this, we became the first pet food company to launch a nationwide bag recycling program with TerraCycle, ensuring 100% of our products since Day 1 have had a pathway out of landfill. TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials, like pet food bags, turning that waste into park benches or outdoor playground equipment. As Open Farm has grown and evolved, so too has our commitment to sustainability and waste reduction. That is why over the last year, we have taken steps to bring our waste reduction programs to the next level by moving towards materials that are easier to recycle.
We recognize the need to act now to protect the environment and reduce the carbon emissions that come from the creation, distribution and disposal of plastic waste. The scale of the issue and far-reaching impacts requires bold action, which is why Open Farm has committed to Zero Waste to Landfill for our direct operations, products, and packaging by 2025.
By taking an approach of reduce, reuse, recycle, we’ll eliminate unnecessary waste, reuse where possible, and recycle the materials that remain. There are three key components to our commitment:
Supply chain – Zero waste to landfill.
By 2025, we will divert at least 90% of the solid waste headed to landfills and incineration at our co-manufacturers. We will work with our manufacturing partners to divert corrugate, shrink wrap, and other critical materials from landfill and send them instead to material recovery facilities where they will be recycled.
Product packaging - Recyclable in practice and at scale.
We are redesigning all of our bags, pouches, and bottles to be optimized for recycling systems in the US and Canada by 2025. We are moving toward mono-materials that can either be recycled curbside or at store drop-off points and labeling each product with clear and simple How2Recycle instructions, making this step as easy as possible for the customer. You can already see this change in our supplements, Kind Earth products, with more innovations and conversions coming later this year.
Direct- to-consumer – Eliminating unnecessary materials and ensuring any remaining materials are recyclable in practice and at scale.
Each year, according to the UN, more than 400 million metric tons of plastic are produced globally and 36% of this plastic waste comes from packaging. To address our role, we are optimizing the design of our direct-to-consumer packaging so that each material has a role in delivering high quality, protected products in the most efficient way possible. This means eliminating unnecessary materials, right sizing our boxes, and making all materials easily recyclable.
We’re also enlisting our employees in our zero-waste ambition. We have some of the most passionate and creative employees and we’re inviting everyone to participate in our waste reduction initiatives in our offices and in their daily lives. This fiscal year we are launching a series of internal employee challenges focused on connecting our individual daily actions to our collective impact and corporate sustainability goals.
As we continue on our Zero Waste journey, we need your help! No one organization or person can solve the global waste issue, but by all doing our part we can make a measurable difference in the world around us. Zero Waste to Landfill by 2025 is an ambitious goal on an ambitious timeline, but minimizing our own waste footprint is critical to protecting and preserving the environment.