Multinational food company Mars has announced plans to switch to sustainable packaging for its chocolate bars in Australia and New Zealand.

The company will introduce recyclable paper-based wrappers for its Mars, Snickers and Milky Way products in April in Australia.

From June next year, the company’s Mars and Snickers bars in Aotearoa will be packaged in recyclable paper-based wrappers, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.

This will be followed by the rollout of sustainable packaging for Milky Way in 2024.

The paper-based packaging will be available on 47g and 64g Mars bars, as well as 44g and 64g Snickers bars.

Designed and developed by the company’s research and development team in Australia, the new wrappers are easily recyclable in kerbside recycling bins.

The transition will support Mars’ commitment to the New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration and ANZPAC Plastics Pact.

It is expected to reduce plastic waste in New Zealand landfills by 11t in total.

Mars New Zealand general manager Peter Simmons said: “As one of the largest pet food, food, and snacks and treats suppliers in New Zealand, Mars has a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint right across our business, including packaging.

“The launch of this new paper-based packaging is a significant step for us towards our local and global packaging targets.

“We are focused on finding the right solution for each of our products; this includes exploring a wide range of recyclable materials to ensure we maintain the high quality and freshness of our products, while choosing a material that can be easily recyclable by our consumers and in line with local recycling infrastructure.”

In September this year, Mars partnered with plastic packaging manufacturer Berry Global to launch snack jars made with recycled plastic content.

The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) jars are made with a single-pellet, food-grade resin and claimed to contain 15% post-consumer resin.