My name is Maria Talu and I am the Packaging Sustainability Program Manager for Global Emerging Markets (GEM) based in Dubai. I manage the global packaging sustainability program within GEM for Mars which the Middle East & Africa cluster is part of. My role is to coordinate a cross functional effort to activate projects, develop a regional roadmap for scale and coordinate packaging sustainability efforts for the business. Personally, sustainable packaging is very dear to my heart and I feel very proud when sharing with my family and friends that I work for the great cause. 
 
Our initiatives include reducing our plastic foot print by innovating our small wraps to incorporate alternative material solutions and optimizing our rigid plastics for recycling. For example we have recently launched Galaxy Fusion and Galaxy Kenz in paper wrap in MEA. Every country we source from and we sell to is different, so we are learning a lot on our journey. I love chocolate and what can be a better place to work for than a chocolate factory? 
 
I started my journey with Mars in Dubai in 2012 as a raw material buyer and since have had an opportunity to work across several teams including packaging and external manufacturing, partner with suppliers from Brazil to Australia and also learn from many passionate associates across our region and globe. I also value the flexibility and the support I’ve got from Mars during return from my two maternity leaves, so I could grow professionally while adapting to my new role as a mom of two little girls.

Maria Talu

Packaging Sustainability Program Manager, Global Emerging Markets, Mars

Session:

Day 2 | 14 May 2024 | Panel discussion: 2024 and beyond for the packaging industry: The priorities for resilience