Mars unveils new look for much-loved chocolate bar in bid to cut plastic waste

30 May 2023, 16:00

The new paper packaging for Mars bars
The new paper packaging for Mars bars. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Mars bars have been given a new look as the chocolate bar ditches its traditional plastic wrapper for more environmentally-friendly paper packaging.

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Mars announced the major change to its bar in a bid to explore a more "sustainable future".

It said the aim is to make all its packaging "recyclable, reusable or compostable".

The new packaging began its rollout in the UK on Monday, with it set to appear in 500 Tesco stores across Britain.

Once the pilot is over, Mars said it will use what it has learned to inform other trials.

It comes after Nestle, a competitor of Mars, introduced paper packaging on some of its chocolates from 2021.

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The original Mars packaging
The original Mars packaging. Picture: Alamy

Adam Grant, general manager at Mars Wrigley UK, said the trial was "a big step to see how paper-based packaging works in everyday life".

"From the test, we will derive insights for our sustainable packaging strategy," he said.

The move also comes after the company achieved carbon neutrality for the first time in its history this year, achieved through carbon credits and carbon emission reductions.

Richard Sutherland-Moore, who is the packaging expert at the company, said they are exploring different wrapping ideas for all its confectionery.

He said the challenge was providing adequate protection "whilst guaranteeing the food safety, quality and integrity of the product to prevent food waste".

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Tesco said it was "delighted" to partner with Mars on the new wrapper.

It said the move aligned with Tesco's "own strategy of removing plastic and packaging".

Andrew Flood, Tesco packaging development manager, said: "We're delighted to partner with Mars Wrigley to trial an alternative version of their iconic Mars bar packaging - aligning to our own strategy of removing plastic and packaging in our business where we can, reducing it where we can't, reusing more and recycling what's left."