AUSTRALASIA – Confectionery giant Mars has announced plans to switch to new recyclable packaging for its chocolate bars in Australia and New Zealand.

Mars, Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bars will have biodegradable brown paper packaging, designed to be more environmentally friendly, in Australia in April and in New Zealand the following month.

Mars said the wrappers on its chocolates would be able to be put in the recycling bin from June 2023. This will be followed by the rollout of sustainable packaging for Milky Way in 2024.

The paper-based packaging will be available on 47g and 64g Mars bars, as well as 44g and 64g Snickers bars.

Designed and developed by the company’s research and development team in Australia, the new wrappers are easily recyclable in kerbside recycling bins.

The company said the change to paper-based packaging would reduce the amount of plastic that ended up in landfill by 11 tonnes – or more than seven million wrappers – each year.

Mars New Zealand General Manager Peter Simmons said: “As one of the largest pet food, food, and snacks and treats suppliers in New Zealand, Mars has a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint right across our business, including packaging.

“The launch of this new paper-based packaging is a significant step for us towards our local and global packaging targets.”

He said 90% of Mars’ food portfolio packaging was already recyclable in many regions and this would be rolled out further as manufacturing infrastructure allowed.

Mars is working towards the goal of all its products having recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

“We are focused on finding the right solution for each of our products; this includes exploring a wide range of recyclable materials to ensure we maintain the high quality and freshness of our products, whilst choosing a material that can be easily recyclable by our consumers and in line with local recycling infrastructure,” added Simmons.

“We are committed to working with industry and other partners to make recycling simpler and more accessible for New Zealand consumers and doing what we can to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to achieve this.”

The transition also contributes to Mars’ US$1 billion ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ plan and supports its commitment to the New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration and the ANZPAC Plastics Pact.

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