Nestlé announce series of actions to achieve its target of 100% recyclable packaging

Nestlé Building Image rights: Nestlé

Food manufacturer Nestlé has revealed its vision to achieve a waste-free future and has announced a series of specific actions towards meeting its aim to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. 

The company’s chief executive Mark Schneider has said that the action plan outlines the firm’s commitment to pursue recycling options and to address plastic packaging waste. However, he believes that 100% recyclability is not enough to successfully tackle the plastic issue. 


He said: “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 Nestlé colleagues to play their part. You can count on us to be a leader in this space!” 

From this, Nestlé has announced steps to pioneer alternative materials, shape a waste-free future and drive behaviour change. 

The firm has already announced that between 2020 and 2025 it will eliminate all plastics that are not recyclable or hard to recycle for all of its products globally. In doing so, Nestlé is rolling out alternative packaging materials across its portfolio and will establish partnerships with packaging specialists.  

Actions being taken to pioneer alternative materials include: 

  • Starting in February 2019, plastic straws will start to be phased out from products, using alternative materials such as paper 
  • Rolling out paper packaging for Nesquik in the first quarter of 2019, and for the Yes! Snack bar in the second half  
  • Smarties will start rolling out plastic-free packaging in 2019, and Milo will introduce paper-based pouches in 2020 
  • Nestlé Waters will increase the recycled PET content in its bottles to 35% by 2025 and will aim to reach 50% in the US. It will also increase the recycled content for its European brands: Buxton, Acqua Panna, Henniez and Levissima to 50% by 2025 
  • Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences is exploring new paper-based materials and biodegradable/compostable polymers that are recyclable 
  • Collaborating with external partners 
  • Working with PureCycle Technologies to produce food-grade recycled polypropylene. 

To help the plastic issue, the company has become the first food company to partner with Project STOP, which was launched in Indonesia in 2019 to prevent the leakage of plastic into the ocean by developing partnerships with cities and governments in Southeast Asia. 

Nestlé said that over the coming months, it will take the learnings from this project to other countries where it operates and try and provide ‘plastic neutrality’ in those markets.  

To help drive behavioural change in its own firm:  

  • All 4,200 facilities globally are committed to eliminating single-use plastic items that cannot be recycled. These items will be replaced by materials that are reusable or recyclable 
  • Employees in all locations will dedicate volunteering days to the removal of litter and participate in clean-up activities on World Ocean Day. 

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