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Will candy consumers recycle their wrappers?

One of the biggest candy manufacturers is slowly rolling out a new, paper-based wrapper material in Australia and New Zealand that could prove to be a more sustainable alternative to the plastic typically used.

Mars announced that it will be rolling out the paper-based wrapper for its Mars, Snickers and Milky Way bars in Australia in April of 2023, according to Packaging Gateway. In June it will roll out the new wrapper for Mars and Snickers bars in New Zealand, which will then get the new Milky Way wrapper the following year. The wrappers are said to be designed for easy curbside recycling and are expected to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills in New Zealand alone by 11 tons.

This is not the first move by Mars to try to reel in the amount of non-recyclable trash generated by its candy bars.

In October of this year, as Halloween in the U.S. came under fire for being a big generator of single-use plastic waste, Mars distributed 17,400 candy wrapper collection bags throughout the U.S., according to The Boston Globe. The bags could be filled with discarded candy wrappers and mailed off to a recycling facility in Illinois which turns the bags into plastic pellets, to be repurposed into waste bags for dogs.

Mars is not the only big CPG company that has recently tried to innovate more environmentally sustainable packaging.

In 2019 competitor Nestlé launched its YES! snack bar in a recyclable paper wrapper, which a press release hailed as the first candy bar to be packaged in paper using “high-flow wrap” technology. The bar was made available throughout continental Europe and the United Kingdom, but is not available in the U.S.

Earlier this year Keurig Dr. Pepper announced that it was working on an easily compostable and/or recyclable bottle for soda, milk and water that is made out of organic fibers instead of plastic.

And in 2016 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pioneered a process for creating edible CPG packaging that could be made out of the milk protein casein.

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