US confectionery giant Mars will move to paper-based packaging on its Mars Bar chocolate product as part of a new test pilot in the UK.

The bars wrapped in recyclable paper packaging will be available for a limited time at Tesco stores. 

The company confirmed this is the first time Mars Wrigley UK has introduced paper packaging in the country “after extensive development work and investments”.

It said trial will achieve a significant reduction in plastic on the Mars Bar.

Richard Sutherland-Moore, fromt Mars Wrigley UK’s research and development team, said: “We are exploring different types of alternative packaging solutions for our confectionery products. For Mars Bar, the challenge was to find the right paper packaging solution with an adequate level of barrier properties to protect the chocolate whilst guaranteeing the food safety, quality and integrity of the product to prevent food waste.”

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Adam Grant, general manager at Mars Wrigley UK, added: “While challenges may impact the pace of progress towards our vision, we at Mars Incorporated are committed to scaling up viable solutions where recycling options exist and to test, learn, partner and advocate where they don’t.”

Andrew Flood, Tesco packaging development manager, said Mars’ move is “aligning to our own strategy of removing plastic and packaging in our business where we can, reducing it where we can’t, reusing more and recycling what’s left.”.

Mars said that following the trial it will use the learnings from the launch with Tesco to inform other trials across the region.