Mars Inc., the company behind many iconic candy brands, is switching to paper-based packaging for three of the company's well-known chocolate bars in Australia and New Zealand.
While the decision move only transitions about 396 tons (360 tonnes) of packaging from plastics to paper starting in April, the move is receiving significant attention as the company is vowing to continue seeking change.
Paper-based packaging was once a norm for candy bars but has transitioned over time to oriented polypropylene film. The problem, however, has been that there is virtually no way for recyclers to handle the small-format packaging with conventional sorting equipment. So candy wrappers typically become trash.Mars
, a $40 billion, privately held company, has spent nearly three years on the project that will allow paper wrappers for Mars, Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bars to be recycled through curbside collection.
"We wanted to make it easy for our consumers to recycle our products. But it was no mean feat. There was no playbook, no guardrails and no road map, but today, we can sit back and say we've done it," said Andrew Leakey, general manager of the company's Mars Wrigley Australia division in a LinkedIn post
"We will be the first chocolate bars in Australia to be wrapped in recyclable paper-based packaging, and the work our team has done in Australia to get us to this point is a world-first for Mars Wrigley," he said.
The company also released a video
explaining the change.
"As one of Australia's largest treats and snacks manufacturers, we know we have a responsibility and believe we have a part to play in a sustainable future. We believe, the world we want to tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This includes looking at ways that we can impact through redesigning our packaging to help with the circular economy," Leakey said in the video.
He said the transition to from plastic to paper for the three chocolate bars "is the first step of many" in creating a sustainable future. "Our shift to paper-based packaging markets a significant milestone."
Chris Hutton is research and development director for Mars Wrigley Australia. "Our local R&D team is leading the way globally, rethinking how we package our products and driving design changes for a more sustainable future," he said in the video.