Mars Food and Amcor have collaborated on a project that will bring to market the industry’s first food-safe, mono-material, recyclable microwavable rice pouch made from polypropylene (PP).

Launching with an initial European pilot in the first half of 2021 involving Mars brands such as Ben’s Original and Seeds of Change, the business has ambitions to further scale the technology across its portfolio beginning in the second half of the year.

Mars hopes that the use of high-performing 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 where infrastructure exists, and designed for future recycling where it doesn’t yet.

The progress is part of Mars’ Sustainable Packaging Plan, which outlines the business’ commitment and plans to achieve 100% recyclable, compostable, or reusable packaging by 2025. Amcor also projects that this solution will move it closer to achieving its pledge to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers, said: “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.

“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.”

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