US- Sustainability efforts have once again received a boost after the world’s leading manufacturer of confectionary; Mars Wrigley announced a new partnership with Danimer Scientific for the development of biodegradable candy wrappers.
Mars said in a statement that it plans to start creating biodegradable wrappers for Skittles with a possible launch being anticipated in late 2021 or early 2022.
Mars’ partner Danimer Scientific has a wealth of experience in sustainable packaging, having worked with food and beverage companies in the past to create innovative and eco-friendly packages.
It signed on to make Nestlé’s water bottles biodegradable in 2019 and is currently working to make biodegradable plastic for Bacardi. It is also working with QSR supplier Eagle Beverage to make biodegradable plastic straws.
Moreover, the company has created a biodegradable packaging called Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), through natural fermentation processes using plant oils including soy and canola.
The companies will work together to turn this material into a flexible package that meets the needs of the confectionery segment.
Mars’ sustainable packaging follows similar announcements by many sustainability-minded food companies looking at packaging improvements as a way to meet their goals.
Several of these new packages are likely to hit shelves this year, including recyclable granola bar wrappers on General Mills’ Nature Valley brand, bottles made from 100% recycled plastic material for Coca-Cola and 100% plastic-free paper-based bottles by Diageo.
Mars Wrigley however has a unique approach towards sustainable packaging. Unlike many of the new eco-friendly packaging plans different manufacturers have put forward, this one doesn’t require much effort on the part of the consumer to help the planet.
Mars Wrigley has decided to start this initiative small — literally — by making packaging that it said is more likely to become litter rather than be recycled.
The company has a goal of making 100% of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and the Skittles wrapper is a good start towards that goal.
The technology also could easily expand to other plastic-wrapped confections in Mars Wrigley’s portfolio.
Once Danimer Scientific has been able to perfect this wrapping, it could be adopted by other CPG companies that rely on flexible plastic packaging, a plus for the entire food industry.
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