Mondelēz invests in circular economy firm Licella, targets 10% CO2 cut

By Kristiane Sherry |

Mondelez Dufry Toblerone Sleeve Printer event Barcelona

Toblerone owner Mondelez has invested in Australian circular packaging firm Licella.

Snacking giant Mondelēz has partnered with Amcor to invest in Australia-based circular packaging pioneer Licella, amid plans to reduce end-to-end carbon dioxide emissions by 10% by 2025.

The investment will boost Licella’s capabilities to recycle end-of-life plastic into a crude oil substitute which can be used to make food-grade plastic packaging. 

Known as Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) technology, the process sees hot pressurised water to continuously recycle plastic that would otherwise go to landfill. 

The new facility will process around 20,000 tons of end-of-life plastic each year, with plans to scale to 120,000 tons. 

Mondelēz, via its partner Amcore, expects to have access to recycled content to meet a large portion of its Australian soft plastic packaging needs. It’s a move that will “significantly reduce” its need for virgin plastic in the market. 

Sustainability is the fourth pillar of Mondelēz’s long-term business strategy. It said it strives to work with partners in the value chain to support a circular economy for packaging waste.

Through its “Light and Right” packaging strategy, it aims to remove unnecessary materials and simplify packaging across its operations.

Mondelēz: There is a ‘gap’ in sustainable solutions

“While plastic plays an important part in the security, quality, protection and preservation of food products, there is a gap in sustainable local recycling solutions,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Impact and Sustainability Officer at Mondelēz International.

“Our packaging strategy is focused on using better packaging and helping to build better systems. 

“This investment brings together multiple stakeholders in the supply chain to scale the infrastructure and technology needed to help create a more sustainable future for plastics and is part of our longer-term focus on working toward our goal of net-zero packaging waste by supporting circular economies.”

Mondelez WTR launches Sense of Place promotions Europe 2022.

Mondelez brands include Milka and Oreo.

Dr Len Humphreys, CEO of Licella, added that the industry needs leadership to boost sustainable plastic waste solutions. “This is the leading technology of its kind globally, and it was developed here in Australia. 

“This investment will help advance our Australian facility at a time when demand for sustainable plastic solutions, that also help provide food-grade recycled content, is growing exponentially.”

Mondelēz says it is “on track” to hit its wider sustainability goals. These include reducing end-to-end CO2 emissions by 2025 from a 2018 baseline, and a 10% absolute water reduction across priority sites, also by 2025.

In the same time frame, it is also aiming to have 100% recyclable packaging, and to see a 5% reduction in virgin plastic. 

Personalised packaging was a recent focus for Mondelēz with its Toblerone Sleeve Printer 2.0 activation which ran in Barcelona in partnership with Dufry over the summer

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