This article first appeared in Convenience and Impulse Retailing, authored by Rachel White
Mars Wrigley Australia announces it will transition away from plastic wrappers for all its Australian-made chocolate bars, adopting paper-based packaging as of April 2023.
A world-first for Mars Wrigley, the new wrappers will be easily recyclable via traditional kerbside recycling and will be debuted on their much-loved Mars, Snickers and Milky Way bars.
“The transition to paper-based packaging for our locally made chocolate bars marks a significant milestone in our sustainability journey,” said Andrew Leakey, General Manager of Mars Wrigley Australia.
“Mars’ ongoing investment in local R&D has allowed us to be agile and create solutions that have a positive impact on our environment, meet our stringent quality and food safety standards but are also convenient for our consumers to recycle via kerbside recycling. This was crucially important for us as we wanted to ensure consumers had easy access to recycle our new paper-based packaging.
Once Mars Wrigley’s Australian-made chocolate bars are fully transitioned to paper-based packaging, the company predicts it will eliminate 360 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain. A step in the right direction for a circular economy and Mars Wrigley’s 2025 national packaging targets.
“As one of the largest snacks and treats manufacturers in Australia, Mars has a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint right across our business, including packaging. The launch of our new paper-based packaging is a significant step for us towards our local and global packaging targets,” said Leakey.
Chris Foley, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), said Mars Wrigley’s new packaging is a welcome innovation in the food industry, setting an example for other businesses.
“Mars Wrigley’s switch to paper-based packaging sets an excellent example to all businesses in Australia of the critical role innovative packaging formats that are more readily recyclable play in meeting the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
“The incorporation of our Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) on Mars Wrigley’s paper-based packaging will also help to provide clear instructions to consumers on how to recycle with both ease and confidence,” said Foley.
The pioneering paper-based technology was developed by Mars Wrigley’s Ballarat-based research and development team, who are developing the technology locally and hoping it will be shared and implemented across Mars Wrigley’s international operations in time.
Melanie Robertson, CEO of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Australia and New Zealand, said: “Mars Wrigley’s transition to FSC-certified paper packaging sends an essential message about the importance of choosing forest-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics. FSC ANZ is proud to partner with Mars Wrigley and congratulates them on this demonstration of support for the responsible management of the world’s forests.”
Mars Wrigley’s new paper-based packaging will be available at all leading supermarkets and convenience stores nationally from April 2023.