Mondelez International claims to have removed over 1,000 tonnes of virgin plastic from its supply chain in 2023 – an outcome attributed to packaging redesigns such as post-consumer recycled content and the removal of outer plastic wrapping in its chocolate products.

Sold in the UK, its Cadbury Milk Tray products and certain Christmas selection boxes are thought to contain 80% post-consumer recycled PET, making them compatible with household recycling. Mondelez intends to replace the rPET used in Christmas Selection Box Trays with cardboard in the future, and Cadbury Milk Tray has also removed the cellophane plastic wrapping from the outside of its box.

Prior to these changes, 30% certified recycled plastic was implemented into the packaging for the Cadbury Dairy Milk sharing bar. This was carried our using an ISCC-certified mass balance approach.

By 2025, Mondelez has set a wider target to reduce virgin plastic in its rigid plastic packaging by at least 25%, and in all plastic packaging by 5%. It points to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment Progress Report for 2023, in which Mondelez was said to have eliminated 12,000 metric tons of plastic packaging – the highest tonnage of any Global Commitment signatories.

Additional information about the company’s sustainable packaging targets, progress, and projects is available via its latest Snacking Made Right report, which covers the company’s ESG progress in 2023.

Joanna Dias, UK sustainability lead at Mondelez International, stated: “I am proud to see even more positive changes being made to packaging across Mondelez’s portfolio, the innovation and drive from the business to make a significant difference and achieve its ambitious net-zero targets is clear to see.

“At Mondelez we want to accelerate the impact and meaningful change we can make as business, and projects such as this to reduce the amount of virgin plastic in a number of our products demonstrates just that.”

Previously, Amcor agreed to source around 1,000 tonnes of post-consumer recycled plastic for Cadbury Australia; this was expected to provide recycled packaging for around 500 million family-sized Dairy Milk chocolate blocks and lower the company’s consumption of virgin plastics.

Nestlé also claims that, in 2023, it placed 24 billion fewer pieces of packaging on the market than in 2021, and 10 billion less than in 2022. Apparently, it consumed 814 kilotonnes of virgin plastic in 2023 compared to the 2018 baseline of 956 kilotonnes.

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