Nestlé is intensifying its actions to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one-third in the same period.
This week the company announced a series of new initiatives that include a £30m investment to increase food-grade recycled plastics in the US, a refillable system for pet food in Chile and first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France. 87% of Nestlé’s total packaging by weight and 66% of its total plastic packaging is already recyclable or reusable.
Véronique Cremades-Mathis, global head of sustainable packaging, Nestlé, said: “We have made strides in our transformative journey towards a waste-free future, but we know that we have more work to do. As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we’re committed to putting our size and scale to work to tackle the packaging waste problem everywhere that we operate.”
Even as COVID-19 has presented more challenges, the company said its commitment to sustainable packaging remains the same and it continues to play a leading role in helping solve the issue of plastic pollution through its three-pillar approach – Developing new packaging, Shaping a waste-free future, Driving new behaviour – launched in January 2019:
Additionally, the company announced that it is seeking to identify and support innovative solutions through the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, which launches 30 September. In partnership with the non-profit organisation Ashoka, the Nestlé CSV Prize will award CHF 250 000 in grants for system change innovations in areas such as alternative delivery systems and ground-up solutions to tackle plastic waste.
The development and testing of new, more environmentally friendly packaging materials is driven by the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the food industry’s first such enterprise. The institute has around 50 scientists who conduct cutting-edge packaging research to ensure the safety and applicability of new materials. Research outcomes include new refillable or reusable systems, simplified materials, high-performance barrier papers and the introduction of more recycled content to Nestlé’s packaging. The institute collaborates closely with more than 180 packaging experts embedded in Nestlé’s global R&D network, as well as with research institutions, start-ups, and suppliers.
Nestlé will continue to introduce alternative packaging materials and new delivery systems, invest in infrastructure and work with consumers to help solve the packaging waste challenge.