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Cadbury trials plastic-free sustainable chocolate packaging in NZ

2020-03-20 11:38 Friday

Iconic confectionery brand Cadbury, which is owned by the U.S. multinational Mondelēz, is trialing a new form of paper-based packaging on a small range of chocolates that will be sold exclusively in New Zealand.

The company has been touting its sustainable packaging credentials more loudly over the past year and months, and is looking to ultimately move away from plastic packaging in favor of a greener type of paper wrap.


The current trial is the first time Cadbury has used a fully-sealed paper material for its chocolate products. If the trial is a success, plastic could be entirely phased out within 5 years, say company representatives.

The trialed product, which uses 100 percent recyclable paper packaging, is called Cadbury Energy bar.

According to the manufacturer, the packaging used is made from sustainability sourced material, and does not include foils, laminates or plastic. That means it is the first product to do so for a fully sealed flow-wrapped package.

It is common for paper food wraps to have a thin film of plastic to protect the contents. The difference with the Cadbury Energy paper, however, is that it acts as a barrier itself to protect the product and ensure the freshness of the food, said the company.

The durability and effectiveness of the paper packaging will be tested during the trial, especially in regard to transport.

In 2018, Mondelēz announced that it will make its entire packaging output recyclable by 2025, with the aim of reducing waste levels and contributing towards the circular economy.

The Illinois-headquartered firm also claimed it would make sure all paper-based packaging it uses will be sourced sustainably by the end of this year, and it will give recycling information to buyers around the globe by 2025 with a view to increasing global recycling rates.

Nestlé made a similar technical breakthrough in snack packaging last summer when it announced that its YES! confectionary bar range would use recyclable paper for the first time. The company claimed it was a world first in recyclable packaging.

Nestlé's latest packaging consists of a coated paper that's widely recyclable with other equivalent materials. The paper itself comes from sources that are sustainable and certified by The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification or the Forest Stewardship Council.

The managing director of Mondelēz International NZ, Cara Liebrock, said: "We're committed to making 100% of our packaging recyclable by 2025. Whilst Cadbury is enjoyed by millions around the world, we are excited to be able to do this innovative trial here in NZ."

Mondelēz said it's also involved in a range of local and global sustainability initiatives designed to minimize environmental impact, including support for those developing technologies for plastic recycling and bringing down the amount of packaging used by manufacturers.

Nestlé and Cadbury are just the latest in a number of brands who announced their intention to ditch plastic in favor of the paper. Earlier in 2019, fast-food brand McDonald's said it would also be shifting away from plastic straws by the end of this year.

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