Page 17 - Food & Drink March 2020
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couple of millimetres shy of being recyclable. If we adjust the size it will mean consumers can ‘dotherightthing’andputtheir squeeze-on in the recycling bin.”
“Phase two is about how the business makes a totally plastic free portion-controlled sauce packaging. We are not just about the short-term solution, but medium- and longer-term viability as well. We’re working with Xinova, a leader in disruptive innovation and problem solving, on phase two.
vision for plastics where they are used and then re-used in a circular system, otherwise knownasacirculareconomy.
In Australia, all three Mars segments including food are partners of REDCycle.
“REDCycle has recycling bins in all Coles and Woolworths stores to collect soft plastics, like our MasterFoods Recipe bases, which they then convert into new products including street furniture and roads.
LEFT: Many brands mean many lines.
As he sees it, Harry says there are two options to the soft plastics challenge – mechanical or chemical recycling.
Mechanical processing sorts recyclables that have been collected through existing systems, like kerbside recycling.
For Harry, this type of processing is an area of opportunity, since what is currently available is limited, but there are still many unknowns as well as challenges around food safety when the mechanically recycled materials are converted back into food grade packaging.
The European Union in particular has concerns about the migration of inks and solvents into foodstuffs where mechanically recycled packaging is turned back into new packaging, he says.
The second option is chemical processing.“There’sstillalotof
work to do to understand whether packaging created from chemical processing, a process called pyrolysis, can be economically viable in Australia.
“In theory it’s a simple process of depolymerisation that converts the plastics into crude oil, which has more value than a bale of crushed plastic.
“We believe the solution for us is not one or the other. There is value in understanding the options for both. We are committed to meeting our 2025 target of one hundred per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable and need to think outside the square and are looking at all the options.”
The task is not a small one, but Harry and MFA see the urgency and responsibility for this generation to be the one that will revolutionise the end of life solutionsforpackaging. ✷
BELOW LEFT: Every home in Australia has a product from one of Mars Food Australia’s brands.
“ We believe there is no such thing as a sustainable product in unsustainable packaging. And it’s this belief driving our approach and innovation, to maintain all the benefits while making sure our packaging can be part of a circular economy.”
“And we’re working with our suppliers on the options available for all of our other packaging as well. This includes everything from switching materials to using single layer instead of multilayer materials and using bio-based packaging materials.”
On a global level, Mars has joined more than 150 businesses as a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy Global Commitment. This includes a
“However, the program is only as effective as those who use it. It’s about giving and getting. When consumers go to the shops they need to have their reusable shopping bags packed with soft plastics to recycle, and then use the bags for groceries.
“Our REDCycle partnership is important for us. It is diverting materials from landfill, which is one step closer to a closed loop system, but there is still a pressing issue around a more sustainable solution for soft plastics.” | March 2020 | Food&Drink business | 17

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