Mars, Incorporated has reached a key milestone in its commitment to a circular economy where packaging material never becomes waste. The new KIND snack bar packaging incorporates recycled content made from advanced recycling, meaning it contains less virgin plastic to previous products.
The new material has been completely redesigned for maximum circularity and is produced through the recycling of used mixed plastic that would otherwise be destined for incineration or landfill. This means that the new packaging is eligible for drop-off recycling in the UK, and curbside recycling in Ireland.
This transition to packaging designed for maximum circularity is the latest innovation in Mars, Incorporated’s strategy to reimagine and redesign all packaging. Mars is focused on reducing the use of new virgin plastic by 25%, incorporating 30% recycled content into plastic packaging, and redesigning more than 12,000 packaging components across a diverse portfolio to fit with the recycling infrastructure that either exists today or is likely to exist in the future.
Barry Parkin, chief procurement & sustainability officer at Mars, Incorporated commented: “At Mars, we want to contribute to a circular economy where packaging material never becomes waste, but is recycled, reused or composted. For this to happen, we need new solutions and infrastructure to change the recycling landscape and to complement mechanical recycling. Today marks another important step in accelerating our sustainable packaging journey and in our collaboration with partners like SABIC that are enabling new opportunities to provide consumers with packaging designed for circularity.”
Peter Morris, general manager at KIND Snacks UK commented: “At KIND, we are committed to making our packaging as sustainable as it can be. This announcement marks the latest milestone towards achieving this vision, and we look forward to driving further positive and long-lasting changes to our packaging in the future.”
The project is a unique "closed loop" collaboration, designed in partnership with SABIC, Landbell, Plastic Energy, Taghleef, and SIT. Together, the partnership has created a lighter weight wrapper from recyclable monomaterial polypropylene for KIND, removing the need to use complex laminated plastic incorporating multi-material layers.
Lada Kurelec, general manager PP, PET, PS, PVC, PU & Elastomers Business for Petrochemicals at SABIC commented: “We are very excited about this pioneering closed-loop project that demonstrates the feasibility and speed of implementing circular plastic innovations when leading actors from across the entire value chain are closely collaborating. Used flexible packaging has a high feedstock value for new materials, and our TRUCIRCLE polymers and services form an instrumental element in tapping this vast potential.”
This innovation marks a real development in the potential for flexible plastic wrappers to become fully circular, as increased amounts of recycled content become available through investment in advanced recycling infrastructure.