Mars Inc. will incorporate recycled polypropylene into the primary packaging for some of its popular pet food brands by 2021.
In collaboration with global packaging supplier, Huhtamaki Oyj, Mars has opted for a PP grade from Sabic’s Trucircle portfolio of resins featuring a reduced carbon footprint, as the company strives to reduce virgin plastics use across its packaging portfolio. Among the ambitions set down in its $1billion Sustainable Packaging Plan, Mars aims to use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
For now, the company will use recycled plastic produced through an advanced recycling process for some of its pet food packs. Through the process, the packs will not feel or appear 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 company has plans to expand its use of recycled material to other brands in the next year as it works towards its goal of achieving 30 percent recycled content and 25 percent less virgin plastic by 2025
“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," said Barry Parkin, chief procurement and sustainability officer at Mars.
The recycled material is certified under the ISCC PLUS (Institute of Sustainability & Carbon Certification) program, which 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.
According to the company, Sabic’s certified circular products from its Trucircle portfolio offer a carbon footprint reduction of 2 kilograms of CO2 for every kilogram of polymer produced diverted from incineration.
For Huhtamaki, the new flexible packaging structure with recycled food-grade plastic is an "important milestone on our journey towards achieving more than 80 percent of raw materials we use to be either renewable or recycled," said CEO Charles Héaulmé in a news release.
“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 percent of our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030,” he said.