Mars Wrigley and Danimer Scientific, a developer and manufacturer of biodegradable materials, announced a two-year partnership to develop an innovative home compostable packaging for a more sustainable planet.

Mars Wrigley reports it will leverage its global portfolio of treats and snacks to enable consumers to compost at home, working together with consumers and supply-chain partners to support a healthy planet. The first brand Mars Wrigley will introduce will be SKITTLES in the U.S., enabling consumers to enjoy environmentally friendly treats.

Danimer Scientific's signature packaging, Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oils such as soy and canola and biodegrades in soil and marine environments. Mars will continue to evaluate opportunities to scale this sustainable packaging technology across its portfolio of brands and categories.

Danimer Scientific and Mars Wrigley plan to introduce Nodax PHA into flexible and rigid packaging that reliably breaks down in both industrial composting facilities and backyard compost units, offering an enhanced value proposition for environmentally conscious consumers and retailers. Nodax PHA can serve as an alternative to traditional petrochemical plastic and has been certified as biodegradable in soil and marine environments. In addition to better end-of-life options, Nodax PHA is renewably sourced, making it a circular material that can help eliminate waste.

Mars Wrigley says its purpose is around better moments and more smiles, including a connected and caring world — including a connected supply chain that cares for the planet and supports Mars' Sustainable in a Generation plan. The joint development agreement is reportedly a key component of the company's strategy to transform its packaging portfolio to support a circular economy and to drive progress against its goal of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

Mars Wrigley says collaborating with Danimer Scientific represents a step change for its packaging sustainability strategy and brings the business closer to its vision for a circular economy where no packaging becomes waste. As part of Mars, Incorporated's $1 Billion Sustainable in a Generation Plan to help create a healthier planet, Mars Wrigley is testing a range of material solutions in markets around the world, such as mono material and paper-based alternatives, to make incremental progress toward its goals.

According to Mars Wrigley, the aim of this collaboration is new, biodegradable packaging for its various brands, starting with smaller and single packs that are more likely to be littered and typically less likely to be recycled. The company is leaning into this problem by creating new-to-world packs for a wide range of formats that can significantly support a sustainable planet. Initial development work kicks off in North America with the goal of reaching additional markets with underdeveloped recycling infrastructures where littering and leakage into nature are especially problematic. The first on-the-shelf offerings are targeted for late 2021 or early 2022, featuring its SKITTLES brand in the U.S.

"The impact of plastic on nature is one of the major sustainability challenges of our generation. There are no simple solutions and transformational innovation is necessary, we have to think and act differently," says Alastair Child, Mars Wrigley VP of global sustainability. "Collaborating with Danimer to advance this breakthrough technology represents a major step to creating positive societal impact and better environmental outcomes across the full lifecycle of small, flexible packaging."

"Expectations for sustainable packaging vary from market to market, making it essential for new materials to be adaptable in meeting different standards without sacrificing quality," says Stephen Croskrey, CEO at Danimer Scientific. "PHA provides a versatile platform for manufacturing material that is renewably sourced and leaves a minimal impact on the environment upon disposal. We look forward to working with Mars Wrigley in fighting the global crisis of plastic waste."

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