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Mars Wrigley to invest AUD 28.8m in Australian facility

Mars Wrigley Australia has announced that it is investing a further AUD 28.8 million (approx. $19.3 million) at its Ballarat, Victoria, facility – building on more than AUD 67 million (approx. $44.9 million) invested since 2021. The funding will be used to strengthen the site's innovation and manufacturing capabilities. The company says that key equipment upgrades will also pave the way for further development of sustainable packaging solutions. The announcement comes as the Ballarat factory's paper-based packaging innovation begins to roll out in retail. In a global first for the company, Mars, Snickers and Milky Way bars in Australia are all switching to the new packaging, which can be recycled via traditional kerbside bins. The paper-based packaging, which is the result of "extensive" R&D trials at the Ballarat site, is set to eliminate over 360 tonnes of plastic from the company’s value chain. Andrew Leakey, general manager of Mars Wrigley, said: “We are the first Mars Wrigley market in the world to launch a recyclable paper-based packaging at this size and scale, and it speaks volumes to the commitment of our team locally, who have been working on this project for almost three years". "...We trialled many different materials and approaches before we landed on our paper-based solution, but one thing that was non-negotiable for us was to ensure that consumers could recycle our packaging within our current recycling infrastructure." Over the last three years, Mars has worked closely with Amcor to find a suitable material that would maintain the freshness of the product while being recyclable in Australia’s existing system. Richard Smith, Amcor’s director of sustainability, Asia Pacific, said: "We are proud to be partnering with our customers to deliver innovative sustainable solutions to the local market, helping Australian brands to meet the National Packaging Targets. We want to be part of the solution, advancing the development of our packaging technology to create a local circular economy for flexible packaging. We are excited to continue innovating with Mars Wrigley to meet Australian consumers’ changing needs.” The paper-based packaging will be available on 47g and 64g Mars Bars, 44g and 64g Snickers and 45g Milky Way at supermarkets and convenience stores.

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