Snacks & Candy

Mars Plans for 100% Reusable, Recyclable or Compostable Product Packaging

Working to redesign more than 12,000 packaging types, company aims to make it easier for consumers to recycle
Mars candy
Photograph: Shutterstock

Mars is moving forward with sustainability efforts by redesigning its packaging—initially its snack portfolio—with simulation software from Ansys, an engineering software company. Mars aims to use 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging for its products.

The food and pet care provider has said that it is working to redesign more than 12,000 packaging types across its portfolio to fit with the recycling infrastructure that either exists today or is likely to exist in the future, making it easier for consumers to recycle their packaging.

The multi-physics simulation technology minimizes the need for extensive physical testing during the packaging development process and provides in-depth insights into various aspects of production phases, including wrapping, drop tests and failure scenarios.

“In the world we want tomorrow, no packaging becomes waste,” said Qing Qi, research and development vice president of global innovation at Mars Snacking. “This vision is at the heart of our multi-billion dollar Sustainable in a Generation plan and will only become a reality by taking unconstrained strides, leveraging breakthrough science, innovative thinking and partnerships to push the boundaries of what's possible.”

The implementation of simulation software is set to facilitate a more nimble, digital-first development environment at Mars, spanning from design to manufacturing, making the process easier and more efficient for its team of research and development experts as the company looks to expedite the pace of progress across its packaging ecosystem.

Researchers at Mars have already reported reductions in development time of up to 40% through computer modeling and in the quantity of plastic purchased by Mars for testing by approximately 246 tons, according to the company.

“We continue to see the impact and potential of simulation and digital engineering in progressing sustainability initiatives throughout the world,” said Walt Hearn, senior vice president of worldwide sales and customer excellence at Ansys. “Mars has successfully implemented the pervasive insights of Ansys simulation to optimize its design and packaging processes. Mars' more sustainable approach to development sets a terrific example for other manufacturers to adopt new solutions that move us all toward a cleaner planet.”

In September, Mars revealed its goals to cut carbon in half by 2030 across its full value chain from a 2015 baseline. By 2050, the candy company aims to achieve net zero emissions, meaning greenhouse gases are significantly reduced while ensuring that any other emissions that can’t be eliminated are balanced by removals.

These goals are a part of Mars’ Net Zero Roadmap. As part of the action plan, Mars will invest more than $1 billion over the next three years and continue to commit financial resources as needed until Net Zero is achieved.

“Our entire Mars business in the U.S and around the world is committed to tackling climate change to help people, pets and the planet thrive—from manufacturing your favorite treats, foods and snacks, to your pet’s nutrition and veterinary care,” said Anton Vincent, president of Mars Inc. North America and global president of Mars Ice Cream.

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