Mars Drinks Unveils Recyclable Packaging, Cuts Carbon 40%

by | May 21, 2012

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Mars Drinks North America is releasing two teas for its Flavia single-serve brewing system in recyclable packs, reports Packaging World.

English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas sold under Mars’ Bright Tea Co. branding will be available in 100 percent recyclable Flavia Freshpacks (pictured) from fall 2012. A revamped manufacturing process has removed the aluminum foil layer from the Flavia Freshpacks and reduced the number of materials needed to manufacture it from three to one.

Mars says the changes in production reduce the carbon footprint of the packs by 40 percent, the website reports. The company hopes to make all Freshpacks recyclable by 2015.

Freshpack recycling is supported by the wider Mars Drinks recycling program. The initiative allows businesses and individuals to box up their used Freshpacks, download a FedEx Ground shipping label and mail the packs to TerraCycle – an “upcycling” company that converts waste into eco-friendly products available at retailers.

TerraCycle and Mars announced their partnership in 2009. The recycling company uses waste from Mars’s five divisions – chocolate, pet care, Wrigley, food and drink – and repurposes it into products including cell phone holders, laptop sleeves and messenger bags.

In December last year, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – the firm behind the Keurig brand single-serving coffee pods, a rival to the Flavia brand – announced that it was working with University of North Dakota researchers and bioenergy specialist Wynntryst LLC on a project aimed at utilizing the waste from its coffee processing plant to produce energy.

The university’s Energy & Environmental Research Center and the two Vermont-based companies are working to develop a gasification power system fueled by coffee residues, plastic packaging, paper, cloth or burlap, and the Keurig single-serve plastic cups. Green Mountain has a goal this year to reduce waste-to-landfill tonnage by two percent per sales dollar compared to the prior year.

Food company Kraft has also worked to increase the sustainability of its coffee packaging. In April it announced that packaging firm PI had created a jar for coffee brand Kenco that uses 28 g (1 oz) less glass than its predecessor. The redesigned jar is used on Kenco’s pure soluble line and incorporates redesigned elements such as corner chamfers and the “regal” closure from the previous jar.

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