Was Mars Wrigley Too Late with This Sustainability Move?

When the packaging sustainability tsunami started to surge back at the turn of the century (aka the year 2000), many packaging professionals were overwhelmed with all the work to be done. Despite the multitude of ideas for improvement, the best advice at the time was to look for low-hanging fruit and start there. Then build on those successes, set new goals, and take the next step in the journey. Many brand owners did just that — are still doing that — and making great headway. So, approximately 20 years into this modern sustainable packaging “movement,” the recent news from Mars Wrigley made me squint. The company eliminated the plastic overwrap film on M&M’S Theater Boxes sold at theaters and retail stores in the US. Doing so made the now-only-paper package 100% recyclable and saved 98 metric tons of PP waste per year. Both undeniably positive outcomes, especially with paper packaging being so much in favor these days and plastic packaging, um, not.

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