Snack and confectionary maker Mars Wrigley has revealed a new, two-year partnership with Danimer Scientific that aims to apply sustainable packaging across Mars Wrigleys products while testing the viability of home compostable packaging.
The first product expected to boost this new packaging is the US brand of Skittles, due in late 2021 to early 2022.
“The impact of plastic on nature is one of the major sustainability challenges of our generation. There are no simple solutions and transformational innovation is necessary, we have to think and act differently,” said Alastair Child, Mars Wrigley VP of global sustainability. “Collaborating with Danimer to advance this breakthrough technology represents a major step to creating positive societal impact and better environmental outcomes across the full lifecycle of small, flexible packaging.”
Danimer Scientific is a developer and manufacturer of biodegradable materials. Its main packaging used is Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). This packaging is produced through a natural fermentation process that utilises plant oils and is able to degrade in soil and marine environments making it a circular material.
The partnership will see Danimer Scientific introduce the Nodax PHA into Mars Wrigley’s flexible and rigid packaging that will allow the packaging to be broken down in both home compost units and industrial composting facilities.
“PHA provides a versatile platform for manufacturing material that is renewably sourced and leaves a minimal impact on the environment upon disposal. We look forward to working with Mars Wrigley in fighting the global crisis of plastic waste,” said Stephen Croskrey, CEO at Danimer Scientific.
Mars Wrigley plans to introduce the biodegradable packaging into its smaller and single pack products, citing that they were more likely to be littered and less likely to be recycled. The company looks to expand this to other packaging and to locations outside of North America with poorer recycling infrastructure.
Alongside Nodax PHA, Mars Wrigley is also testing other materials such as mono material and paper-based alternatives under their $1bn Sustainable in a Generation Plan.