Unable to find a use for its waste cores, Baker Labels has started sending them to Colchester Zoo, where they are used as part of the environmental enrichment programme for the animals.

During the manufacture of self-adhesive labels, dozens of heavy-duty cardboard cores are removed from material master reels every week and disposed of, as they are the wrong weight for the finished products. Baker Labels wanted to find a sustainable way to recycle the waste cores and contacted Colchester Zoo to find out if they could use them as part of their programme to keep the animals entertained and mentally stimulated.

When the assistant curator Liz Butcher confirmed that the zoo would definitely be able to find a use, the company shipped two pallets. Ms Butcher explained, ‘In captivity, food and water is supplied, territory is already delineated, social groupings are usually fairly stable and structured, there are no predators to avoid, and quite often mates are selected for them. With all the extra free time, the animals have a need for new and entertaining or challenging activities. That is where the role of enrichment comes in. These cardboard cores will be ideal for our animal enrichment and we would definitely appreciate them in the future.’

More cores will be sent the zoo over the coming weeks and months for use in a variety of enriching ways.