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Flexo Sustainable : Fall 2014
Specific metrics being aimed at, and their progress thus far, are: • Design packaging to be 100 percent recyclable or recoverable by 2015, where infrastructure exists (at 84 percent of goal) • Increase level of recycled content in packaging by 10 percent by 2015 (goal met in 2011) • Reduce packaging weights by 10 percent by 2015 from a 2007 baseline (at zero percent of goal) Mars states that its strategy is “to reduce, recycle and rethink” its pack- aging, something it admits isn’t as simple as it may sound, because an increase in sustainability in one area could be offset by a decrease in another. This one step forward, one step backward approach would ultimately lead nowhere. The company notes it works with a variety of outside resources to dis- seminate and share what it learns, with suppliers, universities, expert partners and other industries. Beyond reaching its short term goals of reduced material usage and increased recycled content usage and package recyclability, Mars wants to find ways to lessen the impact of packaging production and better utilize renewable energy. “Our aim is to deepen our under- standing of all these factors and introduce longer term targets for reducing the total impacts of our packaging,” it states. SUSTAINABILITY IN ACTION Putting these ideas and goals into practice, Mars showcases the fol- lowing examples: • Mars Drinks has developed recyclable Freshpacks for the drinks provided with FLAVIA machines. This innovation was achieved by removing an aluminum foil layer from two FLAVIA single serve Freshpacks, plus switching from three materials to a single, fully recyclable plastic. Independent lifecycle analysis commis- sioned by Mars Drinks shows that using the new materials re- duces the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the Freshpack by 40 percent. This is because they have a lower impact during raw material extraction. The total reduction in GHG emissions is 44 percent if the Freshpack is recycled, rather than sent to landfill. THE BRIGHT TEA CO. Earl Grey and English Breakfast teas were the first products sold in recyclable Freshpacks in North America • Mars Petcare continually seeks opportunities to reduce packag- ing weights—even for wet food pouches, which weigh just 4-g . A range of different measures, such as reducing the number and thickness of laminate layers in the pack, will save in the region of 7,000 tons of packaging materials per year by 2014 • Mars Food has developed a similar plan for making the mi- crowaveable pouches for Uncle Ben’s Ready to Heat rice more sustainable by reducing the quantity of laminate material used, while maintaining performance. It has identified further measures to reduce or replace the materials used in the pouches, which will cut the associated GHG emissions by up to 7,000 tons by 2015 • Mars Food’s sauces have the lightest glass jars in the European market. To ensure this remains the case, the company modified the jars used for its Dolmio, Uncle Ben’s and Seeds Of Change sauces. This is part of a long running program that began in 2005 and continues today. Last but not least, by moving to lighter cardboard for Uncle Ben’s rice boxes while maintaining strength, the company avoids sending waste to landfill To learn more about Mars’ packaging sustainability efforts, visit its website. n 8 Sustainable FLEXO | FALL 2014 832,426 Tons of packaging used by Mars in 2012 37 Percentage of recycled content used in Mars packaging 41.2 Percentage of packaging that contained recycled content in 2013