You know you’re dedicated to the cause when you launch your company a whole year later than planned, just to make sure you really have got THE GREENEST PACKAGING EVER.
Rùn could have been up and rùnning (no pun intended… ok, maybe slightly intended!) way earlier if we’d gone down the easy route and just used plastic. Ummm, no thanks.
Or, what about one of the so-called green options that we’re all hearing about these days? Hmm, not quite right. How can you be sure ‘green’ really does mean GREEN?
So, here’s why you can put your paws up and relax, knowing your dog food packaging couldn’t be more eco-friendly if you tried…because we did!
Bio-bags – sorry, not quite good enough
We found bio-bags quickly but they weren’t right. The PLA (a very thin barrier often made from vegetable starch) element has a very short shelf life and actually starts to degrade before the product even gets into the bag!
Could there be a way around it, though?
Sadly, it seems, not yet. We spoke to loads (actually LOADS) of suppliers but there just wasn’t anyone that’d guarantee the PLA liner wouldn’t contaminate the food. Technology is constantly developing, but it’s not quite there yet. So, that was the end of that.
Compost heap fails
Like the bio-bags, we did a LOT of research into compostable bags. Annoyingly, it was quickly clear that most of this type of packaging can only be composted at an industrial composting facility. It’s the only place temperatures are high enough for proper composting of rigid containers or cups, and 99% of compostable pouches!
We did find truly home compostable packaging though – and got so excited we shed a few happy tears. But there were no flexible bags or pouches strong enough to carry more than around 750g of food. And putting our food in lots of small bags, even home compostable ones, wasn’t right for us.
There’s still hope though. Tech experts are almost catching up with the rising demand for a truly eco-packaging option and we’ve got a heads-up on some really cool heavy-duty pouches… Watch this space.
The MOST exciting day was the one we stumbled across bioplastic – especially because it was carbon negative!
The product is made from waste from the sugar cane industry. And the entire factory was run off this waste, so their end product was actually saving energy – the maths is still baffling but wow.
Anyway, the initial excitement quickly faded: no matter how low the carbon footprint was, bioplastic is still a difficult-to-recycle (here in the UK), single-use plastic, designed for landfill.
We were right back where we started. Darn.
A step back in time
We pondered and pondered and pondered. Finally, we got to thinking about what it was like before the plastic problem was a problem. People got their groceries without a need for plastic packaging… or, actually, any packaging at all.
Bingo. Back in the days when groceries, including dog food, were bought at the green grocer, everything went into brown paper bags. Or you brought your own (used and reused, then reused again) bags from home.
Suddenly it became about more than just giving you plastic-free dog food.
It was about giving you packaging-free dog food
The holy grail
So, there you have it – the holy grail in recyclable, biodegradable, compostable packaging…and all it took was a step back through several decades of tech-innovation…
It was as simple as finding a really thick, doubly ply Kraft paper. And voila - super-strong 7.5kg and 15kg sacks of cold pressed dog food!
Before you say it, though, we know – despite their strength, they don’t have a man-made barrier. That’s why our shelf life is just six months. But that’s okay. Even the tiniest of dogs can put away a pack in half a year!
And hey, retailers – there’s an even thicker and stronger 25kg sack…. Want to know why….?
Zero waste dog food!
Yup, you read that right! The most exciting packaging option is good news for customers and retailers.
It’s all about refills: dog parents can BYOC (bring your own container) and stock up on the exact amount they need, saving money and the planet.
More on that another day but you get the gist: Rùn isn’t just a fantastically healthy option for your dog. It’s an incredible option for our planet.
P.S. Because of the extensive use of paper (and because it was the dream all along), trees are planted in Madagascar for every online sale. You’re helping us to build a forest!