BENTONVILLE, AR — If your pet prefers toys from the trash over things bought at the store, a new project from Walmart might meet everyone's needs.
Beginning this month, Walmart will be selling pet products made from discarded, recyclable materials, as part of a new partnership with manufacturer Worldwise.
The Full Circle program creates a closed-loop system that takes old plastic bottles, clothes hangers, plastic bags and corrugated cardboard and makes new products from materials that would otherwise be waste.
"Creating 'Closed Loop' systems, that generally utilize waste from one process as the raw material for another, have long been hailed as an important model for more sustainable consumption," Matthew Turnbull, CEO of Worldwise, said in a statement. "These Full Circle products prove that consumers do not have to sacrifice quality or pay higher prices for innovative pet products made from recycled materials."
The following products will be upcycled by Walmart and Worldwise to be used in new products:
• Bottles are being recycled into dog beds
• Hangers are being turned into cat litter pans, scoops, and scratchers
• Bags are being converted into cat littler liners
• Corrugated cardboard is being processed into cat scratchers
Worldwise estimates that only 25 percent of the 50 billion water and soda bottles purchased each year are recycled, even though facilities to recycle plastics are widespread throughout the country.
The Full Circle program was developed by Worldwise after years of effort to close the loop on consumer recyclables that can be made into new products. PoochPlanet dog beds and SmartyKat scratching posts and litter boxes are now available in Walmart stores.
"Two of Walmart's three guiding sustainability goals are to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain people and the environment," Walmart's senior buyer for pet products, John Kunkel, said in a statement. "We are excited about the opportunity to offer customers these quality PoochPlanet and SmartKat products that also move us closer to achieving those goals."
As a result of the program, Worldwise estimates it will keep 100 million plastic bottles out of landfills.