Nestlé accelerates action to tackle plastic waste

Last year, Nestlé committed to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, with a particular focus on avoiding plastic-waste, and has now laid out its plans to achieve it.

Nestlé, who owns more than 2,000 brands, has pledged to phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide between 2020 and 2025. Beginning next month, Nestlé will remove all plastic straws from its products, switching to paper and alternate materials, and will roll out paper packaging for some of its brands including Nesquik and Yes! snack bars, while Smarties will be going plastic-free later in the year.

Nestlé Waters will increase the recycled PET content in its bottles to 35% by 2025 at a global level, rising to 50% in its US brand Poland Spring, and European brands Acqua Panna, Buxton, Henniez, and Levissima.

In December 2018, Nestlé announced the creation of its Institute of Packaging Sciences based in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is exploring new paper-based materials and biodegradable/compostable polymers that are also recyclable, among other alternatives. Nestlé is also collaborating with external partners, such as Danimer Scientific to develop a marine biodegradable and recyclable bottle for its water business, and PureCycle Technologies to produce a food-grade recycled Polypropylene (PP).

On top of its 2025 commitment, Nestlé has a longer-term ambition to stop plastic reaching oceans and other natural environments, an issue that poses a particular threat to Indonesia as well as other Southeast Asian countries. Nestlé has become the first food company to partner with Project STOP, a leading initiative to prevent the leakage of plastic into the ocean by developing partnerships with cities and governments in Southeast Asia.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said: “While we are committed to pursuing recycling options where feasible, we know that 100% recyclability is not enough to successfully tackle the plastics waste crisis. We need to push the boundaries and do more. We are determined to look at every option to solve this complex challenge and embrace multiple solutions that can have an impact now. We believe in the value of recyclable and compostable paper-based materials and biodegradable polymers, in particular where recycling infrastructure does not exist.

“Collective action is vital, which is why we are also engaging consumers, business partners and all of our Nestlé colleagues to play their part.”

Responding to the plastic waste challenge and striving for zero environmental impact in its operations is an integral part of Nestlé’s commitment to creating shared value for shareholders and society. Nestlé is particularly dedicated to accelerating action in tackling the plastic waste issue and has said it will report on the company’s progress publicly.

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