Supplier answers the question more customers are asking…

It’s no surprise that horse owners sometimes ask their feed merchants why horse feed is still packaged in plastic. 

But for feed manufacturer Dengie – a company committed to sustainable manufacturing - there’s currently no viable alternative. 

One reason is the inclusion in its fibre feeds of ingredients such as rapeseed oil. Paper packaging simply wouldn’t be suitable, says the company. 

Then there’s the question of pressure, a huge amount of which is used to pack Dengie’s fibre feeds into bales. Paper just isn’t robust enough. 

“Fresh and protected”

“The plastic packaging is vital for ensuring Dengie’s feeds remain fresh and protected from the elements, as well as reducing the risk of contamination – a particularly important consideration for those feeding competition or racehorses,” says technical manager Katie Williams. 

“To achieve this with paper packaging, it’s often coated with wax or lacquer which prevents the packaging from being recycled after use”.

Closing the loop

Two years ago, Dengie introduced recycled plastic into its packaging; and efforts continue.

“We’re now able to send the waste plastic generated during the bagging of the horse feeds back to our supplier who recycles it on our behalf, which is closing the loop in terms of managing waste plastic,” says Katie.

“While we can’t take plastic back from customers yet, there are opportunities to recycle through council sites and collection services.” 

Bag within a bag

Meanwhile Dengie bags are regularly re-used for rubbish or selling manure. 

Even when they reach the end of their lifecycle, they can be recycled and could ultimately end up in another Dengie bag.