Mars to Use Recycled Content in Pet Food Packaging

(Credit: Mars, Inc.)

by | Nov 2, 2020

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(Credit: Mars, Inc.)

Mars, Inc. has announced it will incorporate recycled polypropylene plastic into the primary packaging for some of its pet food brands. For Mars, this is an effort to reduce virgin plastics use across its packaging portfolio, to do its part to build a circular economy where no packaging becomes waste.

Through its partnership with packaging supplier Huhtamaki and petrochemical company SABIC, Mars will use recycled plastic that has been manufactured using an advanced recycling process for its pet food packs. According to Mars, the packs will not feel or be different from those made with traditional virgin plastic, but will have the added benefits that they include recycled material coming from previously used plastic products.

The recycling approach used by SABIC to make its certified circular polypropylene is one of the only solutions currently available that is able to take mixed, used plastic that is otherwise hard to recycle via traditional recycling routes, and to transform them back into plastic suitable for new food-grade recycled packaging. Mars is piloting this in Europe in 2020 and will increase volumes used into 2021, with a goal to expand the use of recycled content to other brands.

Mars says there is a need to reduce packaging we don’t need, redesign the remaining packaging to become circular, and invest to close the loop to help scale up recycling systems.

The recycled material is certified under the ISCC PLUS (Institute of Sustainability & Carbon Certification) scheme that uses a “mass balance” approach.  This international sustainability certification scheme verifies the quality and authenticity of the recycled material along the supply chain from feedstock to final product.

The partnership comes as part of Mars’ Sustainable Packaging Plan and ambitions to use 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. Using advanced recycling technology will be an instrumental part to achieving use of 30% recycled plastics and to reduce virgin plastic use by 25%.

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