If you’re wondering what the next big environmental kick in the food world might be, just look down at your candy bar.
We probably don’t think about what happens to our candy wrappers when we gobble up that chocolate and toss the plastic in the trash, but there are companies that have actually been thinking about it.
Over the years, gourmet chocolates have tried their hand at compostable chocolate wrappers, like in 2013, when Hnina produced its “guilt free” chocolate with biodegradable wrapping.
In 2015, Alter Eco chocolate really got the ball rolling, as it became known for producing an environmentally-friendly chocolate wrapper that “you can bury in your back yard.”
Since then, the build has slowed a bit, but Seattle Chocolate just jumped on the trend in a big way, launching compostable wrappers for its truffles, and a plan for a full switch by 2020. Their new truffle wrappers are made with cellulose, a naturally abundant organic material derived from eucalyptus trees that are sustainably harvested.
On a larger scale, big players such as Mars and Nestle have a goal of making all their candies with biodegradable packaging by 2025, according to the Huffington Post UK.
— Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal) December 19, 2016
Mars in particular has made some pretty big leaps, teaming with Rodenburg Biopolymers in 2016 to create a Snickers concept wrapper made of potato starch waste, and being given top honors from the Global Bioplastics Awards.
The changes in our candies might not be immediate, but you will probably start seeing gradual changes turn into dramatic changes, as we saw when restaurants jumped on the plastic straw ban trend over the last year.
So don’t be surprised if within the next couple of years your Kit Kat and M&M’s packaging start feeling a little different than what you’re used to. The changes are coming, and like we saw with straws, they can come in a blink of an eye.