Treats and snacks producer Mars Wrigley has announced that it is collaborating with PHA producer Danimer Scientific in order to create and transition to a new, bio-based, home compostable packaging across its numerous product brands. The two companies have entered into a two-year partnership during which the focus will be the development of packaging solutions based on Danimer Scientific’s polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Nodax materials.
Renewably-sourced Nodax is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oils such as soy and canola and biodegrades in both soil and marine environments. It can serve as an alternative to traditional petrochemical plastic and has been certified as biodegradable in soil and marine environments.
“PHA provides a versatile platform for manufacturing material that is renewably sourced and leaves a minimal impact on the environment upon disposal,” said Stephen Croskrey, CEO at Danimer Scientific.
The joint development agreement is a key component of Mars Wrigley’s comprehensive strategy to transform its packaging portfolio and brings the business closer to its vision for a circular economy where no packaging becomes waste. It will also help drive progress against its goal of 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
As part of Mars, Incorporated’s $1B Sustainable in a Generation Plan to help create a healthier planet, Mars Wrigley is also testing a range of material solutions, including mono material and paper-based alternatives, in markets around the world.
Mars Wrigley says that it will be starting with the smaller and single packs for various Mars Wrigley brands, as these are more likely to be littered and typically less likely to be recycled. Initial development work with kick off in North America with the goal of reaching additional markets with underdeveloped recycling infrastructures where littering and leakage into nature are especially problematic.
“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.”
The company expects to have the first products in the new packaging on retail shelves by late 2021 or early 2022. The first brand to transition in the U.S. will be Skittles.