Is Dengie packaging recyclable?

What is Dengie packaging made from?

If you’re a user of Dengie Horse Feeds then you will know that we use plastic to package our horse feeds. Over the last 5 to 10 years we have significantly reduced the amount of plastic we use in each horse feed bag by reducing the thickness, but there obviously comes a point at which we can’t go any thinner, as the feed bag simply fails to provide the level of protection our horse feeds require.

What are the alternatives to plastic packaging?

We have therefore investigated alternative packaging materials, one of which is compostable packaging, but it is not as straightforward as it might first appear.

Compostable packaging comes from starch sources, such as potato as well as cellulose. The rate at which it biodegrades depends on the thickness of the packaging and the environmental conditions, but it is nowhere near as strong as the plastic we use currently for our packaging so it would have to be thicker or we increase the risk of additional waste through damages.

The most significant challenge though, is that compostable packaging will start to decompose as soon as it is exposed to the air and so there would be virtually no shelf life on the product. Given the seasonality of feeding horses, it would be difficult for most horse feed manufacturers to make to order in the winter months and not need to store product for a few weeks at least.

There is also an additional cost to the compostable packaging – probably amounting to around 50p a bag. Whilst many people would be willing to pay this for the benefit of being able to compost the packaging, not everyone could afford this increase, including businesses such as riding schools that buy large quantities of feed, which is something we have to consider.

In the meantime, please see our top tips on ways you can help to reduce, reuse and recycle your Dengie packaging.


How to recycle, re-use or upcycle Dengie packaging

Here are our top tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle:

  • Supplement tubs can be used as containers for your stud or plaiting kit.
  • Putting water or stones in supplement tubs so they don’t blow away means you can use them as markers in your arena to help you ride a perfect circle or serpentine as well as for mounted games including stepping stones and bending!
  • Our feed bags make colourful showjump fillers and are sure to prepare your horse for the unexpected at your next competition.
  • All the feed bags make excellent rubbish bins on the yard.
  • The supplement tubs are ideal for putting your tea room essentials in as they waterproof and when you’ve used your tea bags you can collect them in a supplement tub before adding them to your muck or compost heap.
  • At home, the plastic bags are extremely handy for those that have time to do any gardening as they can be used for anything from kneeling on to keep your knees clean and dry to putting your compost material in.
  • Our feed bags are ideal for carrying large quantities of hay down to your horse’s fields
  • We have seen customers come up with many other uses for our empty feed bags too, such as waterproof coats (for dogs too), shopping bags, sledges and even sack races at Pony Club camps!

Clearly, we can’t change things overnight but your feedback will help us to make decisions about what we do in the future, so click here to contact us please let us know your thoughts!