Mars, with SABIC and Huhtamaki, Introduces Recycled Content into Pet Food Packaging to Support a Circular Economy
- Mars, working with SABIC and Huhtamaki, will include food-grade recycled plastic in packaging of pet food brands in 2021
- The company has plans to expand to other brands in the next year
- This important step helps accelerate Mars’ progress towards achieving 30% recycled content and 25% less virgin plastic by 2025
- Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer Barry Parkin describes milestone as “encouraging the development of recycling systems in support of a circular economy, where no packaging becomes waste”
McLean, VA (November 2, 2020) — Mars, Incorporated has today announced it will incorporate recycled polypropylene plastic into the primary packaging for some of its popular pet food brands. For Mars, this marks an important step in its efforts 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 global packaging supplier Huhtamaki and petrochemical leader SABIC, Mars will use recycled plastic which has been manufactured using an advanced recycling process for its pet food packs. Thanks to this process, 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 ambitions to expand the use of recycled content to other brands.
Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer at Mars, Incorporated, said: “Plastic packaging littering our land and oceans is not acceptable, and at Mars, we’re committed to helping address this problem. To do this, we 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.
“Through our partnership with Huhtamaki and SABIC, we will test-and-learn, progressively scale up recycled plastic content in our packs, and ultimately help drive circular packaging systems.”
The recycled material is certified under the ISCC PLUS (Institute of Sustainability & Carbon Certification) scheme that uses a “mass balance” approach. This widely recognized 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%.
Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki said: “We are fully committed to playing our part in building a circular economy across the value chain and partnering with others to do so. Our strategic partnership with Mars and SABIC is a great example of how collaboration can result in breakthroughs that deliver significant progress in our journey to designing 100% of our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030. This new flexible packaging structure with recycled food-grade plastic is an important milestone on our journey towards achieving more than 80% of raw materials we use to be either renewable or recycled.”
Mark Vester, Global Circular Economy Leader at SABIC, said: “We are proud to show how this collaboration with Mars and Huhtamaki reflects our trust and willingness for innovation and a shared constructive and pioneering spirit. At SABIC we are committed to developing new solutions to meet our customers’ demands for increasingly sustainable solutions. SABIC’s certified circular products from our TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio offer a carbon footprint reduction of 2kgs of CO2 for every kilogram of polymer produced diverted from incineration. Only through partnerships such as this can we prove the commercial viability and sustainability contribution of advanced recycling processes to help confront the challenges our society is facing today.”
This work is part of Mars’ mission and responsibility to help create a healthy planet on which all people can thrive – a belief that’s at the heart of the Mars’ $1 billion Sustainable in a Generation Plan.
For further information on Mars’ approach to sustainable packaging, visit https://www.mars.com/sustainability-plan/healthy-planet/sustainable-packaging.
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us.
Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, Pet Partners™, and VCA™.
We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive.
Huhtamaki is a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, enabling wellbeing and convenience. Our innovative products protect on-the-go and on-the-shelf food and beverages, ensuring hygiene and safety, and help prevent food waste. We embed sustainability in everything we do. We are committed to achieving carbon neutral production and designing all our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.
We are a participant in the UN Global Compact and as of 2020, we received an MSCI ESG Rating of A, on a scale of AAA ─ CCC. To play our part in managing climate change, we have committed to set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative. Huhtamaki has been awarded the Silver medal by EcoVadis for performance in sustainability.
With 100 years of history and a strong Nordic heritage we operate in 35 countries and 81 sites around the world. Our values Care Dare Deliver guide our decisions and help our team of 18,600 employees make a difference where it matters. Our 2019 net sales totaled EUR 3.4 billion. Huhtamaki Group is headquartered in Espoo, Finland and our parent company, Huhtamäki Oyj, is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. Find out more about how we are protecting food, people and the planet on www.huhtamaki.com.
SABIC is a global diversified chemicals company, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. SABIC manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.
SABIC is working to drive the change needed to close the loop on used plastic. This includes SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio and services which showcase circular innovations, including certified circular products which are produced using a feedstock derived from previously difficult to recycle used plastic household packaging. SABIC are collaborating with retailers, recyclers and manufacturers to close the loop and to accelerate changes to become a circular global society.
SABIC has more than 33,000 employees worldwide and operates in around 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, SABIC has 12,540 global patent filings, and has significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia. www.sabic.com.