Mars Food partnered with global packaging company Amcor to make a recyclable, food-safe, mono-polypropylene plastic (PP) microwavable rice pouch. The packaging technology will make the pouches for Mars Food’s brands such as Ben’s Original and Seeds of Change recyclable and incorporate Amcor’s AmLite HeatFlex Recyclable technology.

Mars Food says the use of mono-PP material will allow it to retain the shape, shelf life, functionality and high safety standards needed for its brands’ packaging, while ensuring pouches can be mechanically and chemically recycled.

“We’re committed to finding more sustainable solutions for our packaging that are food safe without compromising quality. This is a huge step for us towards our 2025 commitment of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging,” says Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food, multi-sales and global customers. “We believe in tackling the world’s sustainability challenges together and through this partnership with Amcor, we will pilot, learn and then scale the volume of recyclable mono-polypropylene pouches across our portfolio.”

According to the companies, the goal is to support a circular economy where packaging does not become waste. The progress is part of Mars’ Sustainable Packaging Plan and Amcor’s pledge to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025.

“Our R&D team has invested their passion and expertise to develop a unique innovation roadmap of more sustainable solutions for plastic, paper and aluminum packaging. Thanks to that foresight and leadership in innovation, we are excited to announce yet another industry first in recycle-ready packaging,” says Michael Zacka, president of Amcor Flexibles EMEA.

Mars Food says it accelerated the development of the new material through testing in its production facilities in the U.K., challenging what was possible throughout the production process. Working in collaboration with Amcor, it then ensured the material development met all its functional requirements while protecting product quality and safety.

“Launching our recyclable retort material in a stand-up pouch format that meets stringent food safety standards is a challenge, and Mars Food took this journey together with us. It will be a win when their brands deliver this innovation to consumers,” says Zacka.

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