Mars Wrigley drives its packaging recycling goals with latest M&M packet design

Mars Wrigley has progressed its commitment for 100% of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, extending its pledge to its latest  M&M Choco range in France, reports Neill Barston

The move is part of the company’s wider goals of its Sustainable in a Generation initiative unveiled three years ago that aims to deliver $1 billion of investment into decreasing the company’s impact on the environment within its operations.

As the company noted, this has involved large scale redesigning of its packaging to meet local scheme requirements, with the French M&M’s pouch bagging for its 300g variety meets the region’s recycling systems  – and is only made of one type of plastic resin (polyethylene), which is a first for the company in Europe.

Previous multi-layer packaging included both polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), with the business noting that by simplifying the design and structure of its flexible packaging formats, it significantly improves their recycling opportunities, while guaranteeing food quality and safety.

“We are proud, as a team, to be part of finding the solutions to the sustainable packaging problems we currently face as a business to ensure we live our values and purpose,” said Russ Avens, Regional Packaging Director, R&D, Mars Wrigley Europe, CIS and Turkey. “We have transformed the mono-pouch to be more sustainable without compromising quality and food safety.”

The company confirmed that presently, 19% of its plastic packaging is recyclable in practice and at scale, but acknowledged there was still work to do in reaching its goals, that would need an innovative approach to testing the best path to meeting recycling targets in different markets.

According to the business, the new pouch will be available for eight months via two retailers in France, then Mars Wrigley will determine the most viable options to continue in its various markets.

Mars is a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastic Economy initiative and a signatory of their Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at its source. Our vision is aligned with theirs: to support a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste.

To advance towards this vision, by 2025 the company plans to reduce its virgin plastic use by 25% and 100% of our plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable. Its measures include: Reducing packaging that is not needed, as well as redesigning packaging that is required for circularity, and making appropriate investments for new systems.


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