A stray orange tabby with a plastic ring around its body was spotted roaming Ellington, Missouri. That is all the information Laura Baker, a registered nurse and founder of the Itty Bitty Kitty City rescue in Ellington, had. Baker went searching and found the kitten wrapped in a plastic ring was so tight it was digging into its skin. She immediately took him to the vet, who performed emergency surgery to remove the ring.

The plastic ring was from Munchkin, makers of baby products and accessories. Baker reached out to the company via email and explained how packaging for the product, Any Angle Cup injured the cat. A representative from Munchkin responded and made a donation to Itty Bitty Kitty City rescue that covered the cost of surgery.


Munchkin plastic packaging
BEFORE: Munchkin plastic packaging
Image courtesy of Munchkin


Diana Barnes, chief brand officer and creative director of Munchkin, told The Week it was "soul crushing" to learn what happened to the kitten, as a result to its newly rebranded product packaging. "We clearly had to do better on the packaging materials.”

Barnes kept her word. The unexpected 500 SKU redesign took one year to complete but was well worth it. The new animal-safe corrugated linerboard is compostable and helped cut the company’s plastic usage by 643,630 pounds annually.


Munchkin plastic packaging
AFTER: Munchkin’s new fully recyclable & compostable packaging. A QR code has replaced inserted paper instructions.
Image courtesy of Munchkin


Baker adopted the fully recovered tabby. Take a guess at the cat’s new name?

Yes, it’s Munchkin.

Learn more about Munchkin’s animal welfare and sustainability initiatives here.

Kristin Joker
Editor in Chief
(248) 227-4727