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March 8, 2021
BUSINESS BUSINESS COMPANIES ECONOMY

Nestlé intensifies its sustainable packaging transformation journey. The company unveils new actions, progress in shaping a waste-free future

Nestlé is intensifying its actions to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one-third in the same period. Today the company announced a series of new initiatives that include a USD 30 million investment to increase food-grade recycled plastics in the US, a refillable system for pet food in Chile and first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France. Eighty seven percent of Nestlé’s packaging is already recyclable or reusable.

Pillar 1: Developing new packaging

  • Transitioning to paper packaging across various formats. For example, Smarties sharing block, a popular color-coated chocolate confectionery product, is available in a recyclable paper wrapper in the UK.
  • Gerber and Piltti baby food use a first-of-its-kind, single material pouch designed to increase recycling value.
  • Nespresso introduced new capsules made with 80% recycled aluminum, an important step towards circularity.
  • Nestlé’s water business has doubled the amount of rPET used since 2019 across its still water portfolio in the U.S. to 16.5%.

Pillar 2: Shaping a waste-free future

  • Together with Project STOP, Nestlé creates a sustainable waste management system and helps reduce ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia.
  • Nestlé embarked on a trial to collect, sort and process soft plastics in Australia.
  • Nestlé is scaling up reusable and refillable options for its Petcare and soluble coffee products, for instance, through collaboration with the start-up company MIWA in Switzerland.
  • Nestlé advocates for the design and implementation of affordable and effective mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility schemes. It has identified 20 countries, accounting for 50% of the company’s plastic usage, where the company will support recycling rates and waste management infrastructure.

Pillar 3: Driving new behavior

  • Nestlé is rolling out a sustainable packaging education and training program for over 290’000 employees, to accelerate behavior change and help the company meet its packaging objectives.
  • Nestlé introduced a digital platform to help consumers dispose of their packaging waste appropriately in Italy.
  • Nescafé Dolce Gusto launched a consumer education campaign to promote recycling in Germany and in Mexico.
  • Nestlé is driving positive change through school programs, like the Tunuyan Verde project in Argentina.
  • The Algramo (Chile), MIWA (Switzerland) and Loop (France) pilots of refillable and reusable packaging solutions offer a new shopping experience.

The company announced that it is seeking to identify and support innovative solutions through the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, which launches 30 September. In partnership with the non-profit organization Ashoka, the Nestlé CSV Prize will award CHF 250 000 in grants for system change innovations in areas such as alternative delivery systems and ground-up solutions to tackle plastic waste.

The development and testing of new, more environmentally friendly packaging materials is driven by the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the food industry’s first such enterprise. The institute has around 50 scientists who conduct cutting-edge packaging research to ensure the safety and applicability of new materials.

Nestlé invests USD 30 million in Closed Loop Leadership Fund

Nestlé announced a USD 30 million investment in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, the private equity fund of circular economy investment firm Closed Loop Partners to lead the shift from virgin plastics to the use of food-grade recycled plastics in the U.S. 

This investment will help create a more sustainable recycling system and, at the same time, assist us in achieving our commitment to reduce our use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025. This is particularly important as increasing the use of recycled plastics could substantially reduce the environmental impact of our packaging.

Closed Loop Leadership Fund is a private equity fund that was created to acquire companies along the value chain to build circular supply chains. The fund invests in companies that aim to increase recycling rates in the U.S. 

Through its investment in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, Nestlé will have access to recycled plastics feedstock processed by companies in which the Fund will invest in order to achieve greater volumes of food-grade recycled plastics for its packaging.

As consumer interest in more sustainable packaging continues to grow and manufacturers compete for supply, having access to high-quality food-grade recycled PET, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) will increase Nestlé’s ability to incorporate recycled plastics into packaging across its food and beverage portfolio. The increasing use of recycled plastics will help reduce carbon footprint, aligned with the company’s ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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