Mars Petcare is getting ready to deploy food safe recycled plastic in wet petfood packaging as part of its global commitment to increase recycled content in its plastic packaging. Leading cat food brand SHEBA will be the first to have the updated packaging formats available in Europe in 2022 as part of Mars Petcare’s efforts to give pet parents more sustainable choices.
The move comes in the context of a joint partnership of Mars Petcare with SABIC and Huhtamaki to develop and deploy recycled plastic in pet food pouches using advanced recycling technologies (also called ‘chemical recycling’).
“We are pleased to share this progress in our sustainable petfood packaging journey,” Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer at Mars, Incorporated, said. “Over the past year, we have been closely working with SABIC and Huhtamaki, continually testing-and-learning and scaling up the recycled plastic content in our petfood packs. As part of our Sustainable in a Generation plan, we are committed to doing our part to help drive a circular economy, which includes redesigning our packages for circularity. The fact that we are now able to introduce recycled content into our SHEBA pouches helps accelerate our journey to achieve 30 percent average recycled content in our plastic packaging and to reduce by 25 percent our use of virgin plastic.”
Petfood packaging is considered to be a very challenging packaging format to utilize recycled content due to thermal processing needed to create the highest quality. By using ISCC PLUS certified recycled material, Mars Petcare highlights a technology that can provide a step-change in the sustainability journey of the pet-food industry. Mars Petcare has been working towards this circularity objective in plastic packaging through the application of advanced recycling technology with its partners, SABIC and Huhtamaki. SABIC is a pioneer in this area via its TRUCIRCLE plastic portfolio and services which showcase circular innovations, including certified circular products which are produced using a feedstock derived from previously difficult-to-recycle used plastic household packaging. SABIC’s ability to process flexible plastic packaging waste back into polypropylene for this direct food contact and challenging application is a first. With Huhtamaki’s technical expertise in formulating and producing easy tear sterilizable polypropylene films such as Terolen, SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE polymers can be used in wet petfood packaging like the SHEBA pouch that is being launched.
Today, all of SHEBA aluminium trays, cans and cardboard sleeves are commonly recycled in key markets.
This work is part of Mars, Incorporated’s mission to help create a healthy planet where all can thrive – a belief that’s at the heart of its $1 billion Sustainable in a Generation Plan.
For further information on Mars’ approach to sustainable packaging, click here.