Building on its 2018 commitment to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, the company said it will reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period, while working with others “to advance the circular economy and endeavour to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers.”
Food quality and safety are paramount, and packaging plays a major role in assuring this. Most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics. To create a market, Nestlé said it is allocating more than CHF 1.5 billion to source up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics between now and 2025.
Packaging innovation, including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions, is another key challenge on the path towards a waste-free future. In addition to its inhouse research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the company said it will launch a CHF 250 million sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on these areas.
“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimising plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”