Petco Aims Sight at Large-Scale Recycling Program to Divert LDPE Plastic from Landfills

June 26, 2024

5 Min Read

SAN DIEGO -- Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: WOOF) today released its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, detailing progress on its mission to improve the lives of pets, pet parents and its own Petco partners (employees).  

"Our commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of pets, people, and the planet we all share is pivotal to our mission as a purpose-driven pet retailer," said Chief ESG & Communications Officer, Benjamin Thiele-Long. "By making meaningful progress on ESG pillars that matter to our stakeholders, we continue to fuel the great enthusiasm our Petco partners bring to work, differentiate our business, and grow the deep connection we have with the customers and communities we serve."

Setting the standard in responsible pet care

With Petco Love — a life-changing independent nonprofit organization — Petco helped find homes for 142,924 pets in fiscal year 2023. The nonprofit's Vaccinated and Loved initiative reached the milestone of distributing 2.2 million free vaccines to pets in under-resourced communities and, to support animals across the country, Petco Love donated $33.5 million in grants to 2,000 local shelters and animal welfare organizations.

Increasing access to high-quality, affordable veterinary care, Petco expanded their network of in-store veterinary hospitals to more than 280 locations that provide a broad range of pet care solutions, including surgeries, illness care, labs and diagnostics and more. In addition, mobile Vetco Vaccination Clinics delivered compassionate, high-quality care at an average of 1,400 weekly clinics by the end of 2023. 

For the third year in a row, American Humane — the world's largest certifier of animal welfare — verified that pets in Petco pet care centers enjoy excellent attention at every step of their journey to their new families. The American Humane Certified™ Seal of Approval was awarded following rigorous audits of Petco locations and vendor facilities, where the independent organization assessed the welfare and overall condition of all small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and aquatic life.

Petco customers can now easily identify grooming services and products without parabens, phthalates and chemical dyes thanks to a new clean* grooming label. With this initiative, Petco became the first national omnichannel pet retailer to offer designated grooming solutions that help pet parents make informed decisions about their pets' routine care and overall health.

And, earlier this year, eligible products within Petco's Well & Good brand portfolio earned the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics' (CCIC) Certificate of Approval, as part of CCIC's trusted Leaping Bunny program. This new accreditation recognizes Petco's private brand for adopting CCIC's corporate standard of compassion for animals and adds to the health and wellness company's growing roster of independent ESG certifications.

Helping people thrive

Petco ranked in the top 8% of North American retailers in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, up four percentile points from the previous year. They also scored 95/100 in Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to LGBTQ+ employees.

Across the country, Petco's seven partner resource groups provided an invaluable network of resources for all team members and deepened the organization's relationship with local communities. From supporting high-performing schools that increase access to higher education in under-served communities, to sponsoring more Komen Foundation charity walks and Pride festivals than ever before, Petco continues fostering an inclusive culture rooted in their company values and support for Petco partners and customers.

In 2023, Petco also delivered a "Leadership Essentials" program to 400 newly hired or promoted people leaders and further nurtured talent through peer-to-peer workshops, a "Next Gen" leadership program and external coaching, highlighting its commitment to continuous learning and development.

Preserving the health of our planet

Petco piloted a new recycling program to divert plastic that is not recyclable at curbside from landfills. The company leveraged existing back-haul shipments to transport low density polyethylene (LDPE) — a flexible thermoplastic polymer commonly used in plastic bags, cling wrap and other product-wrapping materials — from Petco locations to distribution centers and deliver it to a specialized plastic recycling partner to give it a new life as composite decking material for commercial and residential use.

In just six months, Petco recycled more than four tons of LDPE plastic, with zero incremental carbon footprint or labor. Today, Petco is announcing the successful program has been rolled out as standard operations for hundreds of Petco pet care centers nationwide and is expected to divert nearly 150 tons of plastic from landfills annually.

"Our LDPE plastic recycling program is a great example of the sustainability mindset embedded in Petco's operations and the key role our Petco partners play in improving our processes to help preserve the wellbeing of our planet," said VP of Sustainability, Francesca Mahoney. "We will continue prioritizing these efforts so pets and pet parents can thrive in healthy environments for generations to come."

Additionally, the company coordinated community clean up events, and product reallocation and donation efforts that contributed to approximately a 24% increase in total waste reduction, compared to 2022.

To access Petco's full ESG report and learn more about their commitments and progress, visit

*Petco defines "Clean" as a product or service that is without parabens, phthalates, and chemical dyes.

About Petco, The Health + Wellness Co.: 
Founded in 1965, Petco is a category-defining health and wellness company focused on improving the lives of pets, pet parents and our own Petco partners. We've consistently set new standards in pet care while delivering comprehensive pet wellness products, services and solutions, and creating communities that deepen the pet-pet parent bond. We operate more than 1,500 pet care centers across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, which offer merchandise, companion animals, grooming, training and a growing network of on-site veterinary hospitals and mobile veterinary clinics. Our complete pet health and wellness ecosystem is accessible through our pet care centers and digitally at and on the Petco app. In tandem with Petco Love, a life-changing independent nonprofit organization, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, we've helped find homes for more than 7 million animals.

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