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Transforming Packaging

Our 2021 Highlights

At Mars, we intend to contribute to a circular economy where packaging material never becomes waste. To achieve this goal, we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars to transform our product portfolio to ensure we’re using 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging.

This includes redesigning more than 12,000 packaging components across our diverse portfolio to fit with the recycling infrastructure that either exists today or is likely to exist in the near future in the markets where we operate. Today, almost half of our packaging portfolio is undergoing redesign.

We are dedicated to achieving our circularity goals. Our top 300 executives now have remuneration linked to delivering against our packaging targets, highlighting the central role these commitments play within our business.



of Packaging in Our Portfolio Is Reusable, Recyclable or Compostable

Goal: Transform 100% of our portfolio into reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. 




of Packaging Is Designed for Recycling

Goal: Redesign our packaging to fit infrastructure that exists today or is likely to exist in the near future. 




Metric Tons of Plastic Removed

Goal: Optimize our packaging to eliminate unnecessary materials and reduce virgin plastic usage by 30%. †

† Tracked against 2019 baseline

Eliminating Unnecessary Packaging

We’re optimizing our packaging to remove as much plastic as we can while retaining our strict quality and safety standards. In China, we saved 450 tons of plastic by reducing the amount of packaging material used in our Dove chocolate containers.

We’re also exploring innovative reuse models that eliminate waste altogether, with a goal to launch at least 10 new programs that test reusable packaging in markets. We’re already well underway with five programs deployed so far. In 2021, we partnered with U.K. grocery chain ASDA to offer a range of dry pet food in the retailer’s newly launched refill zones. We also launched M&M Color Walls with French retailer Carrefour, enabling consumers to fill reusable containers with the M&M color of their choice.



Redesigning Necessary Packaging for Circularity

We’re contributing to a circular economy by redesigning our necessary packaging to be recyclable or compostable. In 2021, our CRAVE™ and PEDIGREE® brands in Europe launched new Care and Treats products in more easily recyclable mono-material packaging.

We’re also exploring alternative packaging materials. As part of our Balisto paper packaging pilot in Germany, more than 90 percent of the packaging in almost a million Balisto bars was changed to paper. And we forged a two-year partnership with Danimer Scientific to develop innovative industrial and home-compostable packaging, starting with our M&M’s and SKITTLES® brands in the U.S.

Investing to Close the Loop

To help catalyze recycling systems, we are working toward using 30% recycled content on average across our plastic packaging portfolio. By purchasing and using recycled content in our packaging, we’re helping to create demand for recycled materials and encouraging investment into recycling systems. Last year, with the launch of our new SHEBA® pet food pouch containing recycled plastic, we became the first company in the pet food industry to use food-safe recycled material in wet-food flexible packaging.

We’re also investing in programs and partnerships that stimulate the collection and recycling of packaging waste. As part of our innovative SWAP Recycling program in Thailand, we offered pet owners discounts for returning their empty pet food bags, which resulted in the recovery of over 35,000 bags of used plastic pet food packaging in 2021.