VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. on Jan. 15 unveiled a series of actions geared toward achieving its previously announced pledge to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. Among the company’s planned initiatives are the elimination of all plastic straws from its products and the roll-out of paper packaging for Nesquik and Yes! snack bars.
The announcement comes a month after the company created the Institute of Packaging Sciences. The institute was formed to evaluate and develop various sustainable packaging materials and to collaborate with industrial partners to develop new packaging materials and solutions.
“Our broader vision and action plan outline our commitment and specific approach to addressing the plastics packaging waste issue,” said Ulf Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestle. “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 Nestle colleagues to play their part. You can count on us to be a leader in this space.”
Nestle said that it plans to be a pioneer in alternative materials. Between 2020 and 2025, the company has committed to phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide. To achieve its goal the company said it will roll out alternative packaging materials and establish partnerships with cutting-edge packaging specialists.
Specifically, Nestle said it will begin to eliminate all plastic straws from its products starting in February. Instead, the company intends to use alternative materials like paper and/or innovative designs to reduce littering.
Nestle in the first quarter of 2019 will start rolling out paper packaging for Nesquik, while the back half of 2019 will see the company introduce paper packaging for the Yes! snack bar. Nestle also plans to roll out plastic-free packaging for Smarties in 2019 and will introduce paper-based pouches for Milo in 2020.
Nestle Waters will increase the recycled PET content in its bottles to 35% by 2025 at the global level and to 50% in the United States, with a specific focus on its Poland Spring brand. In addition, Nestle Waters will increase the recycled PET content for its European brands Acqua Panna, Buxton, Henniez and Levissima to 50% by 2025.
Partnerships also will be key in Nestle’s recycling efforts, the company said. Nestle on Jan. 15 announced the formation of a global partnership with Danimer Scientific to develop a marine biodegradable and recyclable bottle for its water business. Danimer Scientific, based in Bainbridge, Ga., is a pioneer in creating more sustainable and more natural ways to make plastic products. PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y., an existing partner of Danimer, may also gain access to the resins developed under this collaboration, Nestle said.
“Strategic innovation partnerships play a key role for Nestle as we make progress in improving the sustainability of our packaging,” said Stefan Palzer, chief technology officer for Nestle. “In order to effectively address the plastic issue in various markets, we need a wide range of technological solutions, including new paper materials and biodegradable polymers which can also be recycled.”