Major Brands Target Bio-Based Solutions

Now is the time for the label and packaging industry to keep up the sustainability demand from brands


Mars Wrigley has just introduced compostable packaging for its popular Skittles brand, that will soon hit US store shelves as the company continues to make good on its commitment to 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025.

The candy giant is calling its Skittles roll out a “test and learn” initiative, but if successful it would be widely rolled out to the North American market, and could expand to other brands. It’s the latest sustainability move for the company who has already created compostable chip bags for its PepsiCo snack brand, biodegradable water bottles for Nestlé, and biodegradable sprits bottles for Bacardi.

We’ve asked it here before, and we’ll as it again: How prepared are you for other brands to follow suit? Now is the time for the label and packaging industry to do its own “test and learn” to meet the demand from major brands and emerging players alike as they achieve their environmental goals.

For its Skittles initiative, Mars Wrigley is sourcing a material derived from the seeds of plants such as canola and soy. The proprietary polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) material is both home and industrial compostable.  Mars Wrigley has said its initial focus is on smaller or single packs which can be problematic because that packaging format tends to have “a lower probability for recycling and a higher chance of being littered, given on-the-go consumption.” Mars Wrigley told Plastics Today that the home compostable films will take aim the underdeveloped recycling infrastructure and littering problems.

Here’s what Alastair Child, Mars Wrigley chief sustainability officer told Waste 360: “We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution for packaging; developing new packaging solutions for our global business is a complex task. We operate in over 80 countries, each with their own waste systems and different abilities to effectively collect, sort, and recycle packaging. Our packaging needs to protect the quality and safety of our food products, while also working with the different local recycling infrastructures in each of our markets and local regions. That is why we will continue to test packaging that is reusable, recyclable, and compostable across our entire network.”

At S-One Labels & Packaging, we’re doing our best to stay ahead of these demands. Our Sustainable By Design portfolio has an array of recyclable and compostable solutions for environment-conscious brands to design sustainability into a package at the production stage.

Our ReEarth™ bio-based line of prelaminated flexible packaging films contain bio-based laminated structures. All components of the ReEarth laminated structures are compostable and have met ASTM D6400 standards for industrial compostability. We’ve selected raw materials from leading manufacturers that allow for the quickest industrial compostability. 

ReEarth films mimic the performance of traditional petrochemical-based flexible packaging without sacrificing functionality and quality, but use Earth-friendly sustainable raw materials in its construction. ReEarth laminated films are available in gauges ranging from 1.9 mil to 3.4 mil and available in clear, white and silver finishes, while thinner gauge ReEarth compostable print and sealant monowebs are available for converters who laminate their own structures.

S-OneLP also offers ReEarth bio-based overprint varnishes designed to protect ReEarth surface printed films.

Flexible packaging converters have found success with ReEarth in applications including bar wrap and flow wrap, snack webs, pillow pouches, stick packs, and stand up pouches. This line is popular for applications with contents such as cannabis, cookies, chips, granola, chocolate, nuts, dried fruits, coffee, pet foods and more.