Mondelez International has invested in Pack2Earth, a Spain-based start-up developing “bio-based” packaging.

The snacks giant took part in a $1m seed round at Pack2Earth, which is working on developing alternatives to plastic.

In a brief statement, the Cadbury maker told Just Food: “This investment, part of Mondelez International’s Sustainable Futures impact investing platform, is very much aligned with our long-term ambition for packaging circularity and an example of the company acting as a catalyst and collaborator.”

Mondelez set up Sustainable Futures in 2021 to finance “environmental and social projects that can help drive meaningful, long-term change”, CEO and chairman Dirk Van de Put said at the time.

Pack2Earth, founded in 2022, S.L. is developing bio-based flexible film and injection material that are compostable at ambient temperature and “organically recyclable”, the Barcelona-based business says.

The materials can be used to manufacture packaging for use with long-life ambient and “semi-liquid” products.

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Pack2Earth says its packaging materials can decompose into “toxin-free and microplastic-free compost”.

Zurich-based investor Sagana also took part in the start-up’s funding round.

In a statement, Sagana said the funds would allow Pack2Earth to “complete client pilot projects and start to grow revenues”.

It added: “The advanced biomaterials startup has developed robust food-grade materials that compost quickly at ambient temperature whenever they end their lifecycle. This also helps reduce the use of petroleum-based plastics.”

Mondelez wants all of its packaging “designed to be recyclable” by 2025. In the Milka chocolate maker’s 2022 ESG report, the company said 96% of its packaging was deemed as such.

The group has set a target of cutting its use of virgin plastic by 5% by the same year against the level procured in 2020. It is aiming to reduce its use of “virgin rigid plastic” by a quarter by 2025. A third goal is for Mondelez’s packaging to contain 5% recycled content by the same year.

In the Milka chocolate maker’s 2022 ESG report, the company said it had lowered the amount of virgin rigid plastic by 7% against 2020 levels. However, its use of virgin plastic rose by 1.5% after a 4% reduction in 2021.

On the target for recycled content, Mondelez said it had reached 1%.

The company’s other investments through Sustainable Futures include in Circulate Capital Ocean Fund, which supports moves to develop recycling infrastructure in India and South East Asia.