Purely paper: Mondelez trials its ‘world-first’ plastic-free packaging in Australia

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelez Australia has trialled its first 100% sustainable and 100% recyclable paper packaging on chocolates produced for overseas delivery to test the wrapper’s operational durability in transit. ©Mondelez
Mondelez Australia has trialled its first 100% sustainable and 100% recyclable paper packaging on chocolates produced for overseas delivery to test the wrapper’s operational durability in transit. ©Mondelez

Related tags: Mondelez, Australia, Packaging, plastic-free

Mondelez Australia has trialled its first 100% sustainable and 100% recyclable paper packaging on chocolates produced for overseas delivery to test the wrapper’s operational durability in transit.

According to the firm, the material used for this packaging was a fully-sealed paper material’​, and did not contain ‘laminates, foils or plastics’​.

“Many existing paper-based food wraps have a thin plastic film to protect the product, however the paper used in the trial acts as the barrier to protect food and ensure freshness,”​ said Mondelez.

The firm’s Director of Marketing for Cadbury, Paul Chatfield, added that: “We are committed to making 100% of our packaging recyclable by 2025. [Given] this is a world-first for us and the material is at the leading edge of packaging innovation, we’re committed to finding innovative solutions to the sustainability challenges facing the planet.

“With waste being just one part of the lifecycle of a product, we need to ensure the total environmental impact of a packaging material is considered. There’s no point adopting an alternative packaging material that minimises waste, but has a larger carbon footprint.”

Mondelez implemented the trial at its Claremont, Australia factory on its Cadbury Energy product, which the firm produces at Claremont for export to New Zealand.

The trial aims to rest the ‘durability and ​effectiveness’ of the packaging in transport, in addition to garnering consumer feedback about it. The paper packaging is said to be made from 100% sustainably-sourced paper and is also 100% recyclable.

“We’ve done an initial trial with a small number of blocks to test production processes, look at how the material performs in transport and on shelf, and get feedback from Kiwi consumers,”​ Mondelez Australia External Affairs Manager Jake Hatton added.

“Assessment of the material is still underway, but if the trial is successful, we’ll look at further trials to test the material with different products and in different conditions and situations.”

Is plastic out?

Despite the positive outlook Mondelez has for this project, Hatton denied that this spells the utter end of plastic packaging use for the company.

“Plastic is likely to continue to play an important role in delivering our products to consumers with the freshness and shelf life they expect, but emerging material technologies mean there could be alternatives for some products,”​ he emphasised.

“This is leading edge technology which doesn’t rely upon plastic or foil films to act as a barrier – it’s 100% recyclable paper.”

Mondelez’s sustainability commitments

Like many other food and beverage majors in the market, Mondelez has also made several sustainability commitments and set relevant targets to meet by 2025.

The firm has pledged usage of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025 and claims that as of January 2020 it has hit about 90% of this target.

It also aims to source 100% sustainable cocoa for its chocolate snack brands such as Cadbury, and reduce water use, food waste and carbon dioxide emissions.

Alternative packaging materials are just one part of the solution. Mondelez is working on a range of sustainability initiatives designed to minimise our impact on the planet, including support for companies developing plastic recycling technology and reducing the amount of packaging we use,”​ said the firm.

Related topics: Sustainability

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