In a UK-first, Mars Incorporated is presenting its iconic Mars bar in the UK in paper packaging as part of a new pilot test to explore different packaging options.
Mars will produce the Mars bars wrapped in recyclable paper packaging that will be available for a limited time at Tesco stores.
After extensive development work and investments, the trial will achieve a significant reduction in plastic on the physical Mars bar – a significant step in its journey to innovate toward its packaging commitments.
Following the trial, Mars will use the learnings from the launch with Tesco, to inform other trials across the region, all in the name of the companies Sustainable in a Generation plan.
Richard Sutherland-Moore, Packaging expert at Mars Wrigley UK’s Research and Development Centre in Slough said: “We are exploring different types of alternative packaging solutions for our confectionery products. For Mars bar, the challenge was to find the right paper packaging solution with an adequate level of barrier properties to protect the chocolate whilst guaranteeing the food safety, quality and integrity of the product to prevent food waste.”
Adam Grant, General Manager, Mars Wrigley UK said: “With our Mars bar pilot project, we are taking a big step to see how paper-based packaging works in everyday life. From the test, we will derive insights for our sustainable packaging strategy.”
“While challenges may impact the pace of progress towards our vision, we at Mars Incorporated are committed to scaling up viable solutions where recycling options exist and to test, learn, partner and advocate where they don’t.”
Andrew Flood, Tesco Packaging Development Manager, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Mars Wrigley to trial an alternative version of their iconic Mars bar packaging – aligning to our own strategy of removing plastic and packaging in our business where we can, reducing it where we can’t, reusing more and recycling what’s left.”
As part of Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation Plan, it is investing hundreds of millions of pounds to meet its goal of reducing its use of virgin plastics by a third in the short-term, which includes using less plastic, recycled plastic, and alternatives to plastic packaging.
Mars Incorporated is implementing various pilot projects this year. Its efforts include the avoidance of unnecessary packaging (Reduce), the use of recyclable mono-materials (Replace), the use of reusable packaging models (Reuse) and the processing of recycled material in new packaging (Recycle).
Along with the paper packaged Mars bar, the brands Carbon Neutrality status is a first for the company in the UK. The neutrality status was achieved through carbon credits and actual carbon emission reductions. The neutrality status was certified by SCS Global. The change will make 200 million bars per year carbon neutral in the UK, Ireland and Canada.
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