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Chesterton’s Fence

The next time you pick up a Mars bar something might feel different – it will be wrapped in paper rather than plastic.

The new environmentally friendly packaging will remind older fans of how the bars were sold until 1977

So, why did they move from paper to plastic?

We can’t decide on this new move until we know that, can we?

Plastic keeps out moisture and air much better than paper, and keeps chocolate fresh for years.

22 thoughts on “Chesterton’s Fence”

  1. Shrug. MPs don’t eat Mars Bars? Or at least won’t admit it, so who cares? So it’s painless virtue signalling. Whooppee!

  2. Exactly. Why did we change from paper bags to plastic? Save trees and paper bags are crap if there is any moisture present.
    Why did we change from paper straws to plastic? Ditto

    Are the rest of us having to put up with this nonsense because the uneducated (you know, young people who have been to yooni) are too dumb to ask “Why do we do this?” before shouting to ban it?

  3. Wait, who in their right mind waits years to eat a chocolate bar? If my work colleagues are anything to go by, their shelf-life is measured in nano-seconds…

  4. Bloke near Worcester

    ‘The firm has had to keep a “tiny” amount of plastic on the inside of the wrapper, but this does not stop it being able to be recycled or to break down quickly in landfill.’

    …so if I eat a mars bar in a plastic wrapper I put the wrapper in the bin…which in our area is incinerated. If I eat a mars bar with a ‘paper’ wrapper and put said wrapper in the recycle (or compost it), where do all the micro-plastics on the inside go?

  5. Mick Jagger says the only thing worse than eating a Mars Bar out of 76-year old Marianne Faithful is when it’s a bit stale.

  6. One of the biggest drivers for replacement of paper by plastic in confectionary packaging was weight. The EU packaging directive had inbuilt targets for recycling packaging based on weight. There was an immediate rush to reduce weight by substitution with plastic.

    The process was somewhat delayed until developments in ink technology permitted color printing onto plastic film

  7. Wonderful though I thought Mars Bars as a nipper they are far too sweet for me now. I recommend Picnic Bars, sold in convenient multipacks at the supermarket. We always buy a few when they’re reduced.

    I wish I could lay my hands on plain chocolate Bounty bars – hen’s teeth at the mo’.

  8. ‘Wait, who in their right mind waits years to eat a chocolate bar’

    True Julia. When I buy one, I eat it immediately.

  9. The Meissen Bison


    Just so. The jingle used to go “A Mars a DAY helps you work, rest and play”? There was no suggestion that I can remember that in a good year you should order some cases of Mars and lay down the bars to mature in your cellar.

  10. It should really depend on the balance between packaging vs food waste. However packaging is subject to producer responsibility obligations – packaging waste directive – but food is not. Arthur Dent is broadly correct within a given material but the incentives on and between material type and weight depends on each country’s implementation and in the UK at least some attempt at the market cost of recycling was used. Notoriously the German Grune punkt centralised tax and fund system penalised mixed material packaging so Pringles just increased the amount of cardboard until it was so high the metal % was below the cut off threshold and they were just classified as cardboard tubes.

    I was peripherally involved in some of this and the Commission were truly unbelievable and the meetings to argue and decide what was and wasn’t packaging went on for ever.

  11. My second fave was ‘Cadburys’ Milk Tray’ chocolate Bar. All the best ones from a box of what the lady loves, in a handy bar. The lime barrel in particular*.

    Mum liked Fry’s Chocolate Sandwich – dark/ milk / dark in one bar!!!

    *Of course, number one being Frys’ Turkish Delight (with Otto of Roses’ whoever he was).

  12. The Fry’s bars with the green marzipan. A mmmm remembered from childhood. Now my wife makes lovely marzipan chocs from marzipan bars out of the home baking aisle. No longer green though but they taste just as good.

  13. @dearime – internet rumour suggests the dark chocolate Bounty might be on its way out. You can buy them online in bulk however….

  14. ” internet rumour suggests the dark chocolate Bounty might be on its way out.”
    Not sure how to receive that news. Bounty Bars are something that’s virtually unobtainable here. Sufficiently so, prompted me to request a traveller from the UK bring some over. And they were indeed the dark chocolate variety that arrived. Provoked in my S. American friend something very close to an orgasm. They were touted as a strong reason for us to relocate UK-wards. What on earth has happened to the British palate, they would consider terminating their manufacture? Inexplicable. Have Penguins become extinct as well?

  15. On the subject of confectionery, I’ve noticed all the sweets sold here in the category you would call “boiled sweets” are labelled as ‘sin azucar’ – sugar free. Since I presume they’re not making them of plastic, they must be a modified starch plus artificial sweetener. Are you suffering this? What is the point? They’re going to be virtually the same calorie content as sugar.

  16. @ bis
    The campaign against boiled sweets used to be (was when I was reading about it) about the damage sugar did to the teeth – allegedly the “acid” that forms in one’s mouth when eating sugar attacks teeth enamel but starch does not cause the same damage. I never knew whether or not this was true: I gave upBiology before ‘O’ level.

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