In a world-first for Cadbury, brand owner Mondelēz International is sourcing recycled plastic from Taghleef Industries for flexible wrappers to be printed and converted by Amcor. The new packaging, with 30 per cent recycled content, will be on shelf in Australia from September next year.
Flexible film supplier Taghleef Industries will source recycled plastic equivalent to 30 per cent of the plastic needed to wrap Cadbury Dairy Milk family blocks. Thanks to advanced recycling technology, post-consumer soft plastic will get new life in the form of these wrappers. The recycled material will be sourced from overseas markets, but as local demand for recycled content increases, this could boost investment in local capability.
Darren O’Brien, Mondelēz International president for Australia, New Zealand and Japan, said the company’s investment in this emerging technology was a reflection of the increased focus on waste and expectation for brands to lead sustainability solutions.
“Not only is this a world first for Cadbury, but Cadbury in Australia will be amongst the first anywhere in the world to buy recycled content soft plastic packaging. We’re setting new ground in finding solutions to meet the National Packaging Targets and the broader global challenges presented by packaging waste.
“While we’ve accessed the very latest technology from overseas to source this recycled material, we know that demand for circular packaging will continue growing and we’d love to see recycling technology built in Australia to meet local demand,” said O’Brien.
The company says consumers won't notice a difference in the look and feel of the recycled plastic, with Amcor providing the finished packaging material in the iconic Cadbury purple.
The recycled plastic material will be used for the Cadbury Dairy Milk family blocks range made at the Cadbury Hobart factory. According to Mondelēz, the volume of recycled plastic being used is enough to package 50-million family blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate which – if laid end-to-end – would stretch from the Cadbury factory in Hobart, all the way to Mumbai in India. At this stage, the recycled plastic material sourced equates to about 30 per cent of the required plastics needed to wrap these products.
The move has been welcomed by Trevor Evans, the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, who notes that the Australian Government is driving a $1 billion transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling industry so that Australia takes care of its own waste and makes the most of its precious natural resources by recycling and remanufacturing them into valuable new products.
Minister Evans said, “The 2025 National Packaging Targets are propelling industry action to achieve 20 per cent average recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025. The result is that industry leaders across the global plastics supply chain, including Mondelēz International, are increasing the percentage of recycled content in their plastic products and packaging.”
Evans points out that steps like this give the sector further confidence that their investments in domestic advanced recycling facilities can solve sustainability challenges and grow jobs in an emerging industry.
Simon Roy, vice president and general manager, Amcor Flexibles Australia & New Zealand said that Amcor was proud to be part of the solution, supporting the development of new technologies to help deliver local sustainable packaging.
“Our goal is to create safe, strong and secure packaging solutions partnering with our customers to help meet consumer needs. This reaffirms our commitment to ensuring all our packaging is designed to be recyclable or reusable by 2025.”
Taghleef Industries Asia Pacific’s chief operating officer, Elie Jarrous believes that “the emergence of at-scale advanced recycling facilities opens up new opportunities to accelerate progress towards a circular economy”.
Mondelez says this is just the first step to use recycled soft plastics as a circular material as the company is determined to increase the amount of recycled material in its packaging.
The first Cadbury Dairy Milk blocks to include recycled soft plastic in its packaging will be available in Australian supermarkets from September 2022.
This story first appeared in PKN Packaging News.