Trashless Pet Store recycles dog food bags into materials with delivery service

TerraCycle Include USA ZWB
Michelle Smith was a customer of Trashless, an online grocery store that delivers fresh, local food in reusable containers such as mason jars. Each time you order, you put out the containers from the previous order. Those containers are picked up, cleaned and reused.   Smith says it struck her that she was doing everything she could to not create waste, but each month she would have big, empty dog food bags left over. She tried her hand at using online ordering for pet food and treats, but those companies always delivered food in huge boxes with a lot of packing materials.   Smith created Trashless Pet Store, an online pet food delivery service that now Trashless Pet Store now operates under the umbrella of Trashless, with the same delivery drivers. It has 10 different pet food brands that are animal welfare certified.     Trashless Pet Store doesn't use boxes when it delivers pet food, and it will pick up the used food bags to be recycled by TerraCycle. The bags then become materials used in plastic chairs, watering cans and leashes, among other things.   You can order samples of food to have your pet try before buying a big bag. Those samples come in mason jars.   It's also partnered with Austin Pets Alive to pick up their bags to have them recycled. Since August, it's picked up 600 bags that would have gone into the trash.   "It's practically a no-brainer," says Stephanie Bilbro, director of lifesaving operations at Austin Pets Alive. Instead of putting the bags in the trash, the staff just puts them in a tub for Trashless Pet Store to collect a couple of times a week. "It's silly not to do it, knowing that they are able to upcycle this stuff that would end up in our dumpster."   The Austin Pets Alive partnership was designed as a test project.   "Hopefully, it would be a great model for other shelters," Smith says. "It can make a huge impact."