What is Nestlé doing to combat the waste of plastic packaging?

Our goal is for no part of our packaging, including plastics, to end up in landfills, oceans, lakes, or rivers. We’re working hard to make it a reality and contribute to a waste-free future. To do this, we have pledged to make all of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. To get there, we’ve made a number of worldwide pledges, including the abolition of non-recyclable plastics. We’re getting closer to having a world without waste. So far, 88 percent of our overall packaging and 62 percent of our plastic packaging are recyclable or reused, but we recognize there is still much more to be done. As the world’s largest food and beverage company, our actions matter, and we’re dedicated to putting our size and scale to good use.

We are committed to using reusable packaging, new delivery systems, and innovative business models in all of our operations and sales to reduce our use of single-use plastics. We will limit the use of virgin plastics by one-third by 2025, based on our promise.

Collaboration and collective effort are critical for changing how packaging is managed towards the end of life, especially if the circular economy is to be advanced. Recognizing this, we established the Institute of Packaging Sciences in 2019 to help us speed our efforts to bring more effective, safe, and sustainable packaging solutions to market, as well as to solve the global problem of plastic packaging waste.

In addition to the Institute’s work, we’re exploring new packaging options with value chain partners, industry organisations, and civil society to help design a waste-free future. Such system-wide change takes time, but we are dedicated to achieving our goal of a waste-free future by following through on our pledges. In the nations where we operate, our company will continue to play an active role in the development of well-functioning collection, sorting, and recycling programmes.

Improving consumer information is also critical, and we’re committed to assisting in this effort by including recycling information on our product packaging to ensure that it is properly disposed of.

Plastic packaging aids in the safe delivery of high-quality food and beverages to consumers, as well as the reduction of food loss and waste. Before making any adjustments, we must thoroughly analyse the options.

We are adamant about exploring all options for addressing these complicated issues and embracing numerous solutions that can have an immediate and long-term impact.

What is the purpose of using plastic in your packaging?

Because our packaging protects food, prevents food waste, and ensures the quality and safety of our products, we must carefully explore alternatives before making modifications. Glass, metal, paper, and plastics are among the materials we utilize.

Plastics are good packaging materials because of their unique combination of malleability, availability, hygiene, and safety. Plastic polymers’ qualities also allow for a lot of design flexibility and freedom, as well as being lightweight but sturdy, allowing packaging to be suited to the product. There has been significant progress in ensuring that only a minimal quantity of plastic packaging is used to safely pack items and that plastic is recovered at the end of its useful life. However, there is still much more work to be done. Plastic must not be allowed to decompose in nature, and we are working to assist build a waste-free future.

How do you plan to cut your consumption of virgin plastics in half by 2025?

We’ll put money into creating and procuring a larger selection of recycled food-grade plastics. In addition, by 2025, we want to use 50 percent recycled PET across all of our brands globally. Nestlé will be able to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one-third by 2025, thanks to these two initiatives and our continued efforts to offer alternative packaging materials and innovative delivery modalities.

How do you plan to phase out non-recyclable or difficult-to-recycle plastics?

We’ve identified a list of plastics for which food and beverage package recycling schemes are unlikely to be developed, and we’ll stop using them to help recyclers. We’ve created a ‘Negative List’ of these materials, as well as a timeline to phase them out of all of our packaging.

In our ice cream, confectionery, and beverages companies, we’ve also begun to eliminate plastics from a variety of materials, as well as reduce the quantity of shrink-wrap we use.

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