VEVEY, Switzerland – Nestlé has announced a series of specific actions towards meeting its April 2018 commitment to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, with a particular focus on avoiding plastic-waste.
“Our broader vision and action plan outline our commitment and specific approach to addressing the plastics packaging waste issue,” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider.
While we are committed to pursuing recycling options where feasible, we know that 100 per cent recyclability is not enough to successfully tackle the plastics waste crisis. We believe in the value of recyclable and compostable paper-based materials and biodegradable polymers, in particular where recycling infrastructure does not exist.”
In December 2018, Nestlé announced the creation of its Institute of Packaging Sciences to evaluate and develop sustainable packaging materials and to collaborate with industrial partners to develop new packaging materials and solutions.
Between 2020 and 2025, Nestlé will phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide. In doing so, Nestlé is rolling out alternative packaging materials across its global product portfolio and establishing partnerships with cutting-edge packaging specialists.
Successful recycling requires an adequate infrastructure, which is currently not always in place. Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences is exploring new paper-based materials and biodegradable/compostable polymers that are also recyclable, among other alternatives. This could become a valuable option in places where recycling infrastructure does not yet exist and will not be available for some time.
Nestlé is also collaborating with external partners. The Company has formed a global partnership with Danimer Scientific to develop a marine biodegradable and recyclable bottle for its water business. Danimer Scientific, based in Bainbridge, Georgia, is a pioneer in creating more sustainable and more natural ways to make plastic products.
Furthermore, Nestlé initiated a collaboration with PureCycle Technologies to produce food-grade recycled Polypropylene (PP). PureCycle Technologies is commercializing ground-breaking recycling technologies which can remove color, odor and contaminants from plastic waste feedstock in order to transform it into virgin-like resin. Polypropylene is a polymer commonly used for packing food in trays, tubs, cups and bottles.
Plastic waste in the ocean poses a particular threat to Indonesia as well as other Southeast Asian countries. Nestlé has therefore become the first food company to partner with Project STOP, which was launched in Indonesia in 2017. Project STOP is a leading initiative to prevent the leakage of plastic into the ocean by developing partnerships with cities and governments in Southeast Asia.
Project STOP is creating sustainable, circular and low-cost waste systems that capture as much value from waste as possible. It supports the many existing local initiatives and informal waste pickers in Indonesia’s coastal areas. Over the coming months, the company will take the learnings from this project to other countries where they operate in an effort to deliver ‘plastic neutrality’ in those markets.