Mars Wrigley China releases rPET packaging

The efficient use of limited resources is key to the future of a green economy, says Mars Wrigley China, in an announcement of their first packaging which contains 100% rPET for a local chocolate brand.

‘The 14th Five-year Plan for the Development of Circular Economy’, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission of China in 2021, advocated development of a circular economy and an increase in recycling efficiency. According to the ‘2022 Report on Chinese Consumers’ Recognition of rPET’, 82% of respondents accepted it as an alternative to traditional plastics.

Being able to recycle packaging is essential to establishing a circular economy, but the high-value of application of recycled material still proves a challenge to the industry due to high cost. According to data published by the Plastic Recycling Branch of the China Synthetic Resin Association, China recycled 5.68 million tonnes of PET scrap in 2022, but most of this was downgraded to rPET fibres for textiles. At the end of their life cycle, they are normally sent to landfill or incinerated.

This year, Mars Wrigley China found an application for rPET by adopting it in the packaging of a new, 216g box for local chocolate brand Cui Xiang Mi (CXM).

“We want to inspire consumers with more green and sustainable moments in addition to our tasty products,” the company said in a press release. Compared with virgin PET, rPET has a lower total carbon emission and consumes less petrol.

In 2022, Mars China, along with other leaders and national associations, kickstarted China’s industry-wide collection pilot, Flexible Plastics Reborn, to establish a closed-loop recycling system in China for flexible packs. The program aims to collect 50,000 tonnes of flexible packaging waste by the end of 2025.

In the last three years, the company said, it has released a range of sustainable packaging solutions. Since 2019, the package projects of Dove and Extra have saved more than 1000 tonnes of virgin plastics, and in 2022, Mars Wrigely China released its first compostable paper packaging for M&Ms. The packaging can be composted by more than 90% in six months under industrial composting conditions.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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