Mars Wrigley and Danimer Scientific have announced a new two-year partnership to develop home compostable flexible and rigid packaging for some of the brand’s biggest sellers – including Skittles.

Danimer Scientific’s signature packaging – Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) – is produced through natural fermentation processes using plant oils such as soy and canola and reportedly biodegrades in both soil and marine environments. Mars will continue to evaluate opportunities to scale this packaging technology across its portfolio of brands and categories.

The joint development agreement is being described as a key component of Mars Wrigley’s strategy to transform its packaging portfolio to support a circular economy and drive progress against its goal of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

As part of Mars, Incorporated’s $1B Sustainable in a Generation Plan, Mars Wrigley is testing a range of material solutions in markets around the world, such as mono-material and paper-based alternatives, to make incremental progress toward its goals.

The aim of this collaboration is new, biodegradable packaging for various Mars Wrigley brands, starting with smaller and single packs that are more likely to be littered and typically less likely to be recycled.

Mars also hopes to reach additional markets with underdeveloped recycling infrastructures where littering and leakage into nature are especially problematic. Mars Wrigley’s first on-the-shelf offerings are tentatively targeted for late 2021 or early 2022, featuring its Skittles brand in the U.S.

“The impact of plastic on nature is one of the major sustainability challenges of our generation. There are no simple solutions and transformational innovation is necessary, we have to think and act differently,” said Alastair Child, Mars Wrigley’s VP of global sustainability.

“Expectations for sustainable packaging vary from market to market, making it essential for new materials to be adaptable in meeting different standards without sacrificing quality,” added Stephen Croskrey, CEO at Danimer Scientific.

“PHA provides a versatile platform for manufacturing material that is renewably sourced and leaves a minimal impact on the environment upon disposal. We look forward to working with Mars Wrigley in fighting the global crisis of plastic waste.”

Danimer Scientific says that Nodax PHA possesses six TUV AUSTRIA certifications of industrial and home compostability, is biodegradable in soil, fresh water, and marine environments, and is 100% biobased. All of Danimer Scientific’s biopolymers, including Nodax PHA, are FDA approved for food contact.