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Plymouth MP gets a taste of life at the Wrigley factory

18 August 2016: Oliver Colvile MP, Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, visited the Wrigley factory in Estover, Plymouth, today. This follows on from a visit by the factory's constituency MP, Johnny Mercer, last year, and more meetings planned with Plymouth MPs and Councillors this autumn.

During the visit, Kevin Fox, Wrigley's UK supply director, introduced Oliver to staff and discussed the business's priorities for the local area. Wrigley, which employs over 300 people locally, has been based in Plymouth since the 1970s. The cutting-edge factory produces on average over 4million packets of chewing gum a day including several of Wrigley's world famous brands, such as Extra®, Airwaves®, and Hubba Bubba®, for export overseas as well as for people to enjoy here in the UK.

As well as being given a tour of the factory floor and learning how chewing gum is made, Oliver was briefed on how Wrigley has achieved zero waste to landfill and how its organic waste now powers the production of Devon ice cream. A partnership between Wrigley and Langage Anaerobic Digestion Facility generates power for local dairy and ice cream producer, Langage Farm. The energy generated from Wrigley's waste gum base and sugar accounts for almost a fifth of Langage AD's 500KW per second output. As part of Mars Incorporated, Wrigley has set ambitious targets to make its factories and offices ‘Sustainable in a Generation', such as eliminating fossil fuel energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. In support of this ambition, earlier this year Mars announced that Moy windfarm in the Scottish Highlands will now power all 12 Mars UK sites, including Wrigley Plymouth, and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 67%.

A keen supporter of apprenticeships and local social enterprise Pluss, which helps people with all sorts of disabilities to find rewarding work and career opportunities, Oliver was eager to discuss skills and employment.  He was briefed about Wrigley's newly revamped apprenticeship programme and its partnership with Pluss, which saw a team of 10 Pluss clients join the Wrigley team two years ago.

Kevin and the Wrigley staff were also keen to discuss the company's work in the community, from the intensive workshop on CV writing and interview techniques that Wrigley will be hosting in the autumn for young, unemployed people in Plymouth, to its work with Peninsula Dental School supporting oral health education for local children.

Kevin Fox, Supply Director at Wrigley UK said:

"It was a privilege to welcome Oliver to the factory. Like him, we are proud members of the Plymouth community and passionate about the talent and natural beauty of the South West. We were grateful for the opportunity to showcase our fantastic site and introduce him to our passionate and engaged staff who make Wrigley UK a special place to work."

Oliver Colvile MP said:

"Wrigley is one of our City's important private sector manufacturers and I very much welcome how they are engaged in providing apprenticeship opportunities, sending zero waste to landfill as well as making all their factories and offices around the world ‘sustainable in a generation'. It's a real privilege to have Wrigley based in Plymouth."

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© 2012 Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All Rights Reserved. Wrigley's, Orbit, Hubba Bubba, Airwaves, 5, Sugus, Skittles, Starburst, Extra, Juicy Fruit, Tunes, Lockets, Altoids and all other trademarks and affiliated designs are trademarks of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company or its affiliates.