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Recycling at Wirral veterinary practice is helping the planet and pets

Pet owners are supporting a Wirral veterinary practice to help both the environment and lost, abandoned and stray cats and kittens

22 April 2021, at 3:00pm

Acorn Veterinary Surgery in West Kirby has received an overwhelming response from dog and cat owners after appealing to them to bring in their plastic pet food pouches for recycling at the surgery in Acacia Grove.

The pouches are collected by TerraCycle, a company specialising in hard-to-recycle waste, and reprocessed into new materials for items such as furniture, garden accessories and playground equipment.

So far, more than 160 kilos – 25 stone – of plastic has been recycled and turned into cash for Alley Cats and Kittens in Southport, a rescue and rehoming charity. Volunteers from the group trap, neuter, release or rehome feral and stray cats and kittens.

The recycling was organised by auxiliary nurse Kim Riley, who has worked at Acorn Vets for two years, and is passionate about green issues.

Kim said: “I wanted to organise this as we can all do our bit to save the planet, as well as help a great local cause that does so much to help cats and kittens in the area.

“We have been recycling pet pouches since last July and since then we’ve collected 163 kilos, which is a phenomenal amount and shows how keen people are to recycle. Pet owners can drop their pouches off at the surgery or leave them in a bag outside.

“Pet owners, like people in the veterinary world, are very caring by nature, so they want to help protect the environment. Veterinary practices generate a lot of waste so we are always looking for way to reduce this and to make sure we recycle at every opportunity.”

Acorn Vets is part of VetPartners, a veterinary group with 160 practices across the UK and Europe, which earlier this year unveiled its sustainability strategy, Looking Forward Together, committing itself and practices to a range of goals that put sustainability at the heart of everything the company does.

The success of the pet food pouch recycling campaign has seen the practice introduce other ways to reduce the amount of waste that would otherwise end up going into incinerators and landfill.

The practice is now inviting clients to bring in ink and toner cartridges and stamps to be recycled for two worthy causes.

Money raised from the ink and toner cartridges will go towards Ellie’s Fund initiative, which turns everyday rubbish into money for brain tumour research – the biggest cancer killer of children in the UK. Money from the collection of stamps for recycling goes to Breast Cancer Research.

VetPartners Sustainability Strategy: Looking Forward Together, has been rolled out across its 500 UK sites and can be viewed online.