Potato-based Mars bar wrapper shown in the Netherlands

Mars has become the latest major corporation to signal its interest in bioplastic packaging, with the debut of a new wrapper for its chocolate bars.

A demonstrator biopolymer wrapper for its Mars brand confectionary was shown at the Bioboost Business Day in the Dutch city of Helmond on 22 January.

It is made of biopolymers produced from potato starch – a substance commonly discarded by the food industry. The wrapper

has been developed within Mars’ Sustainability in a Generation (SIG) programme. Mars believe that switching to biopolymer

packaging will work towards the SIG’s wider goal to make the business carbon-neutral by 2040. The company notes the

potato-starch wrapper will undergo further tests to ensure it can experience the stresses of printing and handling on high-throughput packaging lines, with a view to scaling production in the future.

To realise its goal, Mars has cooperated with Rodenburg Biopolymers. Headquartered near Breda, Rodenburg produces two lines of starch-derived biopolymers – Solanyl and Optimum FlourPlast – made from potato, grain, root and seed flour feedstocks.

Under another project within the SIG, Mars is also looking at technology to produce biopolymers from waste water – although its progress is much less advanced

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.