This article first appeared on Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Tom Oakley-Newell
Mars Wrigley Australia is set to invest $28.8 million in its Ballarat factory to bolster local innovation and manufacturing capabilities.
Over $67 million has been invested into the factory since 2021. The latest investment will enable Mars to continue to modernise its manufacturing operations through key equipment upgrades, paving the way for further development of sustainable packaging solutions such as the latest roll out of paper-based packaging across certain products.
Andrew Leakey, General Manager of Mars Wrigley, said he is proud that they are leading world-class innovation in packaging and sustainability from Australia in what is a world-first for Mars as a business.
“We are the first Mars Wrigley market in the world to launch a recyclable paper-based packaging at this size and scale, and it speaks volumes to the commitment of our team locally who have been working on this project for almost three years.”
Available from 10 April, Mars Bar, Snickers, and Milky Way will switch to the new packaging which can be recycled via traditional kerbside recycling bins.
The switch to paper-based packaging, which was a result of extensive R&D trials at the Ballarat factory, is set to eliminate more than 360 tonnes of plastic from the company’s value chain.
“When we embarked on this journey, there wasn’t a playbook or roadmap for us to follow but we were committed to finding a solution and cementing our position as a leader in sustainability. We trialled many different materials and approaches before we landed on our paper-based solution, but one thing that was non-negotiable for us was to ensure that consumers could recycle our packaging within our current recycling infrastructure,” explained Leakey.
Over the past three years, Mars has worked closely with Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, to find a suitable material that would maintain the freshness of the product, whilst being recyclable in Australia’s existing recycling infrastructure.
Richard Smith, Director of Sustainability Asia Pacific at Amcor, said they are proud to be partnering with its customers to deliver innovative sustainable solutions to the local market.
“We want to be part of the solution, advancing the development of our packaging technology to create a local circular economy for flexible packaging. We are excited to continue innovating with Mars Wrigley to meet Australian consumers’ changing needs.”