Kent-based veterinary group Pennard Vets has launched a new initiative to ensure Hill’s foil pet food pouches and surgical material can now be recycled rather than incinerated or sent to landfill.
The practice group has joined forces with Hill’s Pet Nutrition to recycle the premium pet food brand’s foil food pouches and flexible bags through specialist recycling operation TerraCycle.
It means cat and dog owners can take Hill’s rinsed out, empty packaging to Pennard Vets’ practices in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Maidstone to be recycled. Pennard Vets is now planning to expand the scheme into its other Kent practices, in Allington, Borough Green, Langley Park and West Malling, next year.
The company has also pledged to start recycling surgical aprons, face masks, needle caps, blister packs and plastic syringes that have been used with sterile water or saline. The scheme has been trialled at Pennard Vets’ Tonbridge and Sevenoaks practices and the company is now exploring rolling this out across the group.
Beth Kirwan, head veterinary nurse at Pennard Vets’ Sevenoaks practice, said: “Historically the veterinary industry has produced more than its fair share of waste and at Pennard Vets we’re working hard to reduce our impact on the environment.
“We already have weekly collections of cardboard, tins, drip bags and tubing, but we wanted to do more to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill or being incinerated.
“Pet food packaging uses special materials, to keep food fresh for extended periods and prevent leaks, which means it can’t be recycled in domestic bins. Previously we were taking Hill’s food pouches to specialist recycling points, but introducing our own collection bins is dramatically increasing the amount of waste we can recycle, and it’s already proving popular with local pet owners.
“We’re also excited to now be in a position to start recycling clinical clothing and equipment, that don’t contain blood, medicines or biological contaminants, which gives us a big opportunity to significantly reduce our environmental impact further. Hopefully the industry will see that changes likes these at individual practices will all combine to make a big difference.”
Elaine Biggs, left, and Beth Kirwan from Pennard Vets’ Sevenoaks practice