Mars Wrigley has announced a two-year partnership with Danimer Scientific, a manufacturer of biodegradable materials, which will see the companies develop biodegradable packaging from natural ingredients.
The two companies will work together to design and manufacture home compostable packaging for Mars Wrigley’s products using Danimer’s PHA biopolymer Nodax.
Danimer’s signature packaging Nodax PHA is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oils such as soy and canola, and has been certified as biodegradable in both soil and marine environments.
The companies intend to introduce Nodax PHA into flexible and rigid packaging, which they claim will break down in both industrial composting facilities and backyard compost units.
Mars Wrigley will first introduce the biodegradable packaging to its Skittles brand in the US, with the new wrappers targeted to hit shelves in late 2021 or 2022.
The confectionery giant intends to scale this sustainable packaging technology across its portfolio, but will start with smaller and single packs that it says are more likely to be littered and less likely to be recycled.
The joint development agreement supports Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation plan and its goal of 11% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025.
“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,” said Alastair Child, Mars Wrigley VP of global sustainability.
Stephen Croskrey, CEO at Danimer Scientific, said: “Expectations for sustainable packaging vary from market to market, making it essential for new materials to be adaptable in meeting different standards without sacrificing quality.
“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.”
In 2019, Danimer Scientific partnered with Nestlé to develop new biodegradable water bottles.
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