Mars to trial paper packaging for chocolate bars in UK

To date, 44% of Mars’ products are designed for circularity

Mars Wrigley UK has confirmed that a selection of the Mars chocolate bars will be wrapped in recyclable paper packaging. The bars will be available for a limited time at Tesco stores across the UK.

The packaging will act as a pilot and the learnings from the launch will be incorporated with other packaging trials to help reach an ambition to have 100% of the company’s packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

Mars Wrigley UK’s Research and Development Centre’s packaging expert Richard Sutherland-Moore said: “We are exploring different types of alternative packaging solutions for our confectionery products.

“For Mars bar, the challenge was to find the right paper packaging solution with an adequate level of barrier properties to protect the chocolate whilst guaranteeing the food safety, quality and integrity of the product to prevent food waste.”

The packaging pilot builds into the company’s Sustainable in a Generation plan. The plan details efforts from Mars to switch 100% of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable; reduce the use of new “virgin” plastic by 25%; and incorporate 30% recycled content into plastic packaging.

To date, 44% of Mars’ products are designed for circularity, meaning they can be recycled provided the right infrastructure is in place. However, only 22% is what the company refers to as “practically” recyclable, due to infrastructure limitations.

The company has reduced virgin plastic usage by 2% and is using more than 400 metric tons of recycled content in its plastic packaging.

The company is in the process of redesigning more than 12,000 packaging types in order to fit in with current recycling infrastructure, or waste systems that will exist in the future.

Mars also noted that its top 300 executives now have remuneration linked to delivering against its packaging goals.

Last month, Mars confirmed that $500m had been raised for its latest sustainability bond, which will support eligible projects across renewables, carbon sequestration and the circular economy.

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