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Mars Bars, Snickers, and Milky Way ‘Go Green’ with new recyclable paper-based wrapper

Snacks and treats manufacturer Mars Wrigley Australia has announced a major step forward in its sustainability journey by committing to transition all Australian-made chocolate bars to a new paper-based packaging that can be recycled via traditional kerbside recycling.

In a world first for the company, the shift to paper-based packaging will be seen on the company’s much loved MARS BAR, SNICKERS and MILKY WAY as of April 2023.

Once the Australian-made chocolate bar portfolio is fully transitioned to paper-based packaging, Mars Wrigley is set to eliminate more than 360 tonnes of plastic from its value chain, enough to stretch from Melbourne to London and back. This will contribute to its aim of creating a circular economy and achieving the 2025 national packaging targets.

The new sustainably sourced paper-based packaging is a result of extensive R&D trials and locally driven innovation from Mars Wrigley’s manufacturing site in Ballarat. The packaging is widely recyclable through  recycling bins and paper/cardboard recycling bins across Australia, enabling consumers to easily recycle the packaging via their kerbside recycling bin.

The Ballarat-based R&D team leading this project is pioneering paper-based sustainable packaging solutions for the Mars Wrigley business globally.

With the plan 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.

“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.

Andrew Leakey, general manager of Mars Wrigley Australia.

“This was crucially important for us as we wanted to ensure consumers had easy access to recycle our new paper-based packaging.

“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.”

Chris Foley, CEO of APCO said Mars Wrigley’s new packaging was a prime example of innovation within the food industry to meet packaging targets.

“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,” said Foley.

“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.” Chris Foley, CEO of APCO.

As part of the company’s commitment to its $1B Sustainable in a Generation plan, Mars Wrigley is committed both in Australia and globally to supporting and creating a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste.

“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,” said CEO of FSC Australia and New Zealand, Melanie Robertson.

Mars Wrigley’s new paper-based packaging will be available on 47g and 64g MARS BARs, 44g and 64g SNICKERS and MILKY WAY 45g at all leading supermarkets and convenient stores nationally from April 2023.

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