In December 2023, Mars China announced another significant step towards sustainable packaging with the launch of its SNICKERS bar with dark chocolate cereal. The new product not only offers a low-sugar and low-glycemic index (GI) option for consumers but also features individual packaging made from a mono PP material, meaning it can be more easily recycled in designated channels.
Flexible packaging is widely used in the food industry such as instant noodles, biscuits and snack packaging materials. Typically, flexible packaging consists of multiple layers of different materials, meeting food safety requirements while being lightweight and flexible.
However, its complex structure and materials make it challenging for recycling. Mono-material flexible packaging, which Mars China has made its new SNICKERS bars out of, refers to a single component, such as single polypropylene (PP) or single polyethylene (PE) material, making it easier to recycle and reducing environmental impact.
The SNICKERS dark chocolate cereal bar features individual packaging made from recyclable mono-polypropylene material, aligning with the principle of “Designed For Recycling”, and meeting Chinese standards.
In addition, the outer packaging box of the new bar uses paper material certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), reducing the reliance on plastic and supporting sustainable forest management. The packaging design upholds the company’s commitment to driving sustainable packaging iteration but also embodies the company’s commitments.
Addressing the current challenges in the plastic flexible packaging collection and recycling, Mars China has partnered with the Green Recycled Plastic Supply Chain Joint Working Group (GRPG), China Plastic Recycling Association of China National Resources Recycling Association (CRPA), P&G, PepsiCo, and Dow to initiate the “Flexible Plastics Reborn” project.
This joint collaboration aims to unite forces throughout the industry and explore a sustainable flexible plastic packaging collection and recycling closed-loop system in China, addressing design, collection and recycling challenges.
In addition to its alignment with helping to reduce environmental impact by making the packaging easier to recycle, the new bar was developed in a collaboration between Mars and the China National Research Institute of Food & Fermentation Industries (CNIF) in China, the new formula incorporates zero-sugar pure cocoa butter dark chocolate and includes ingredients like imported Turkish hazelnut spread, almonds, pumpkin seeds and black sesame, aiming to provide consumers with a tasty treat while maintaining nutritional balance.
Each 30g pack contains a low GI value (≈40) and low GL value (≈4) but is also rich in dietary fibre and prebiotics, presenting a new snack option that is low in sugar and low GI.
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