In general, candy wrappers aren’t recyclable. Yes, you do have some options — even beyond upcycling them into a dress. TerraCycle, a company focused on hard-to-recycle waste, can handle the shiny wrappers. And in 2016, Mars touted the development of a biodegradable wrapper. But this week, Nestle announced what they bill as a first-of-its-kind, potentially game-changing development: a recyclable paper candy bar wrapper that can be tossed in with other paper recycling in most places.
Nestle says they will begin packaging their line of Yes! snack bars in the new packaging, marking “the first time a confectionery bar has been packaged in paper using a high-speed flow wrap technology.” According to Confectionery News, the wrapper was developed by a UK-based team that had two issues to overcome: First, the paper had to be durable enough to work on existing high-speed production lines designed for handling existing wrappers, and second, it also had to preserve the bars as well as wrappers made with plastic films and laminates. The paper itself is said to come from sustainable sources, and the entire relaunch is part of Nestle’s commitment to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
“Consumers are looking for more natural and sustainable options when they choose a snack, both in terms of ingredients and packaging,” Patrice Bula, head of strategic business units, marketing and sales at Nestle, said in the announcement. “Our Yes! bars are made with wholesome ingredients that celebrate and care for Nature's diversity. We are now relaunching them carefully wrapped in paper, making the packaging easy to recycle and avoiding plastic waste."
For now, Yes! bars are only available in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. “More countries in Europe and beyond will follow soon,” the brand explains. We reached out to Nestle to see if and when these wrappers might arrive in the United States and will update with a response.