Paper-based packaging has been launched by Mars Wrigley in Australia across a range of well-known chocolate bars.
Paper-based packaging for the company’s chocolate bars is in line with the growing global trend for brands to switch from single-use plastics and adopt fibre-based packaging materials that are kerbside recyclable.
The company will roll out the new paper-based packaging for its Mars Bar, Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bar lines nationally from April next year, with plans to transition its full chocolate bar products.
The packaging, made from sustainably sourced FSC-certified paper, was developed and trialled at Mars Wrigley’s manufacturing site in Ballarat, Australia. The R&D team leading this project is pioneering paper-based sustainable packaging solutions for the Mars Wrigley business globally. The plan is for the technology, learnings and insights developed and deployed locally in Australia to be shared and implemented in other Mars Wrigley markets across the globe.
While the move is a welcome step to sustainability the company’s eco-claims have be questioned by campaigners down under who point out that ‘paper-based packaging’ is not the same as ‘paper packaging’ and that, in many countries such as New Zealand, the company’s wrappers that still contain plastic would be unable to be recycled at kerbside.
Mars Wrigley UK has already removed the black PE liner from Maltesers boxes which the company claims will see 82 tonnes of plastic eliminated every single year.
The removal of PE from all Maltesers boxes in the UK means that the box itself is now fully recyclable and, without using any additional paper pulp, around 930 tonnes of carboard per year can now be fully recycled in Britain. The plastic film that covers the box, which is essential to protect the quality of the product within, isn’t currently widely recyclable.
Britons consume over 180 million Maltesers every year. Most of which are made at Mars Wrigley’s HQ in Slough.
“At Mars, we take our responsibility for sustainable packaging seriously,” said Adam Grant, general manager Mars Wrigley UK, “and our fully recyclable iconic Maltesers box is another important step in our journey toward packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.”
The move follows Mars Wrigley UK’s announcement in 202 that it was accelerating its sustainable packaging programme.
The business is exploring a range of packaging initiatives and reducing the plastic used by a range of products by 51 tonnes or around 647,000 square metres a year – the equivalent area of over 90 football pitches. Mars Wrigley UK has also run a trial with Tesco to pilot an innovative new material made from cocoa bean shells for promotional displays, a global first for the confectionery category.