can dog food bags be recycled

Can Dog Food Bags Be Recycled?

This is obviously one of the most difficult questions to answer because there is no one correct answer. Yes and no can be correct depending on many factors that I shall be talking about in the next sections of this article.

But here is a general answer that can help you to fully understand whether dog treat or food bags can be recycled:

Different dog food brands use different materials to manufacture their bags and for that reason; recycling dog treats and food bags will depend on the material used to manufacture them.

The materials used to manufacture packaging bags for dry dog food are polypropylene, paperboard, and mixed plastics (polyester and polyethylene) but many companies are now switching to using polypropylene because it is lightweight and can significantly decrease their shipping costs.

But in as much as these companies are saving a lot on their shipping expenses, there is actually one problem…

Most recycling programs do not accept polypropylene packaging bags a large number of Material Recovery Facilities are not able to sort it.

How Do I Know If A Dog Food Bag Is Recyclable?

So if there is no one direct answer to whether dog treats and food bags can be recycled, how then do we know if packaging materials from a variety of brands are good for recycling?

Here is a brief summary of some of the main factors that determine if you can recycle packaging materials:

  • The packaging material must not be made from polypropylene.
  • The paper must be easy to tear. If you are not able to tear the paper then it cannot be recycled since most dog food bags are usually lined with paper and plastic layers that have been sealed together.
  • The bag must be made out of plastic since recycling programs and facilities can easily sort plastic.

Where To Recycle Dog Treats And Food Bags?

If your available food bag meets the requirements listed above and it can be recycled, here are a few places where you can send the bag for recycling:

1.Open Farm Recycling Program

Open Farm recycling program is a partnership between Open Farm and TerraCycle where you can send Open Farm pet food packaging for recycling. So if you give your dog food and treats created by Open Farm this can be the best recycling program to send the packaging material.

2.Guardian Pet Food Recycling Program

TerraCycle is slowly becoming the king of strategic partnerships and this time they have partnered with Guardian Pet Food Company to create a free recycling program for empty Guardian MoRE Bars Pet Food Packaging. 

You can use the Guardian Pet Food recycling program if your dog loves enjoys their food and you actively buy it for them.

3.Wellness Pet Food Recycling Program

Wellness pet food recycling program is another TerraCycle partnership and this time they are partnering with Wellness brand to facilitate the recycling of Wellness pet food packaging material. So if Wellness is your favorite dog food brand and you consistently give it to your dog you can take advantage of this program.

How To Reuse Non Recyclable Dog Food Bags

If you have dog food bags that cannot be recycled there are many other things that you can reuse them for.

Here is a quick summary of the many things that you can do with non-recyclable pet food bags:

  • Create outdoor pillows
  • Use them for collecting household waste
  • Use them to package your shipping items


It is very difficult to give a direct answer on whether it is possible to recycle dog treats and food bags or not because different brands use different materials to manufacture their packaging bags.

The material used to manufacture the dog food bag will determine if it recyclable or not.