Developing Biodegradable Packaging from Natural Ingredients by Danimer Scientific

Innovative partnership puts Mars Wrigley at the forefront of the sustainable packaging movement with eco-friendly technology made from nature that biodegrades in soil and oceans.

Mars Wrigley, the maker of some of the world’s most beloved treats and snacks, and Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable materials, announced a two-year partnership to develop an innovative home compostable packaging for a more sustainable planet.

Mars Wrigley will leverage its global portfolio of iconic treats and snacks to enable consumers to compost at home, working together with consumers and supply-chain partners to support a healthy planet. The first brand Mars Wrigley will be SKITTLES® in the U.S., enabling consumers to enjoy delicious, fun, and environmentally friendly treats.

Danimer Scientific’s signature packaging – Nodax® polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) – is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oils such as soy and canola and biodegrades in both soil and marine environments. Mars will continue to evaluate opportunities to scale this novel, innovative and sustainable packaging technology across its portfolio of brands and categories.

Danimer Scientific and Mars Wrigley plan to introduce Nodax®PHA into flexible and rigid packaging that reliably breaks down in industrial composting facilities and backyard compost units, offering an enhanced value proposition for environmentally conscious consumers and retailers. Sourced from the seeds of plants such as canola and soy, Nodax®PHA can serve as an alternative to traditional petrochemical plastic and has been certified as biodegradable in soil and marine environments. In addition to better end-of-life options, Nodax®PHA is renewably sourced, making it a genuinely circular material that helps eliminate waste.

Mars Wrigley’s Purpose is around better moments and more smiles, including a connected and caring world. This includes a connected supply chain that cares for our planet and supports Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation plan. The joint development agreement is a critical component of Mars Wrigley’s comprehensive strategy to transform its packaging portfolio to support a circular economy and to drive progress against its goal of 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

For Mars Wrigley, collaborating with Danimer Scientific represents a step-change for its packaging sustainability strategy. It brings the business closer to its vision for a circular economy where no packaging becomes waste. As part of Mars, Incorporated’s $1B Sustainable in a Generation Plan to help create a healthier planet, Mars Wrigley is testing a range of material solutions in markets worldwide, such as mono-material and paper-based alternatives, to make incremental progress toward its goals.

This collaboration aims to create new, biodegradable packaging for various Mars Wrigley brands, starting with more miniature and single packs that are more likely to be littered and typically less likely to be recycled. Mars Wrigley is leaning into this problem by creating new-to-world packs for a wide range of formats that can significantly support a sustainable planet. Initial development work with kick off in North America to reach additional markets with underdeveloped recycling infrastructures were littering and leakage into nature are especially problematic. Mars Wrigley’s first on-the-shelf offerings are tentatively targeted for late 2021 or early 2022, featuring their SKITTLES brand in the U.S.

“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 social impact and better environmental outcomes across the full lifecycle of small, flexible packaging.”

“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,” said Stephen Croskrey, CEO at Danimer Scientific. “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.”

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Vihaan Nagal

संवेष्टन अभियान्ता | Packaging Engineer | Verpackung Ingenieur *Free time blogger *Believe in packaging reform (say naa to orthodox packaging) My life lies between degradable and non-degradable material.

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