Mars, with Sabic and Huhtamaki, introduces recycled content into pet food packaging

For Mars, this signifies an important step in its efforts to reduce virgin plastics use across its packaging portfolio, to do its part to build a circular economy.

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Plastic Recycling
November 5 2020
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Sabic announced that biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film based on the company’s certified circular PP from feedstock recycling of used plastics will be introduced in primary pet food brand packaging by Mars, Incorporated. The BOPP film structures are manufactured by Huhtamaki, a key supplier of sustainable packaging solutions to customers around the world. The joint initiative will help the partners implement their ambitious targets of reducing the volume of fossil-sourced plastics and accelerate the transition to a more circular plastics economy.

“The littering of plastic packaging on our land and oceans is unacceptable, and at Mars we’re committed to addressing this problem,” said Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer at Mars, Incorporated. “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 and help scale up recycling systems. Through our partnership with Huhtamaki and SABIC, we will test-and-learn, progressively increase the recycled plastic content in our packs, and ultimately help drive circular packaging systems.”

Following a successful pilot phase in 2020, Mars will incorporate certified circular PP polymer from Sabic’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio in the primary packaging of some of its popular pet food brands. The certified circular PP food-grade material is produced through the feedstock recycling of low quality, used mixed plastic that could otherwise be destined for incineration or landfill.

“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,” said Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki. “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 new flexible BOPP packaging structure with certified recycled food-grade PP polymer is an important milestone on our journey towards achieving that more than 80 percent of the raw materials we use will be either renewable or recycled.”

Likewise, while Mars is piloting the use of Sabic recycled content in Europe in 2020, the company plans to increase volumes used in 2021 with ambitions to other brands. Mars sees this as a major step in the company’s sustainability strategy, which is targeting the use of 30 percent recycled content across their packaging portfolio and a 25 percent reduction of virgin plastic by 2025.

“This successful collaboration with Mars and Huhtamaki reflects the partners’ willingness and shared pioneering spirit for effective change in the industry towards a truly circular plastics economy,” commented Sergi Monros, Vice President of Performance Polymers & Industry Solutions for Petrochemicals at Sabic. “Only through partnerships such as these can we prove the commercial viable and sustainable contribution of advanced recycling processes to help confront the challenges our society is facing today.”


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