US-based confectionery manufacturer Mars Wrigley has partnered with biodegradable materials maker Danimer Scientific to make home-compostable packaging.

In their two-year partnership, the companies will develop biodegradable packaging for several Mars Wrigley brands. They will initially focus on smaller and single packs, which are likely to be the most littered and less recycled.

The first brand to feature the new packaging will be Skittles. The company plans to roll the packaging out this year or early next year.

Mars Wrigley global sustainability VP Alastair Child said: “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.

“Collaborating with Danimer to advance this technology is a major step to creating a positive societal impact and better environmental outcomes across the full lifecycle of small, flexible packaging.”

The brands will use Danimer Scientific’s signature packaging, Nodax® polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), for flexible and rigid designs.

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Nodax PHA is made via natural fermentation processes using plant oils, including soy and canola. The material biodegrades in both soil and marine environments and can be used as a replacement for traditional petrochemical plastic.

Danimer Scientific CEO Stephen Croskrey said: “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.

“PHA provides a versatile platform for manufacturing material that is renewably sourced and leaves a minimal impact on the environment when disposed.”

Mars Wrigley will work with consumers and supply chain partners to make it easier to compost at home.

The partnership is in line with the company’s packaging sustainability strategy and will help it achieve net-zero packaging waste across its operations.

In September, Danimer Scientific partnered with US-based packaging supplier Plastic Suppliers (PSI) to develop bio-based, home compostable films for various goods and sectors.