The food and drink multinational Nestlé has stepped up its effort to reduce its use of plastics, rolling out plastic-free packaging across several products and pledging to phase out plastic Smarties tube tops.
Nestlé has pledged to phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide between 2020 and 2025. In the UK, its focus will be on recycling and increasing recycled PET content.
Standard-sized tubes of Smarties went plastic-free in 2005. The company said it was in the process of eliminating plastic from Giant tube caps, multipacks, mini bags and some seasonal items. It will run trials on new materials – such as paper-based and biodegradable/compostable substitutes – later this year.
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and drink company, overseeing more than 2,000 brands in 191 countries.
In the UK, Nestlé has pledged to increase recycled PET content in bottles for its Buxton and Acqua Panna water brands to 50% by 2025.
But in countries where recycling infrastructure is relatively undeveloped – such as Indonesia – the company has announced it is developing a biodegradable plastic bottle that could be on the market within 18-36 months.
“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,” said Mark Schneider, the chief executive of Nestlé.
‘“We need to push the boundaries and do more. We believe in the value of recyclable and compostable paper-based materials and biodegradable polymers, in particular where recycling infrastructure does not exist.”
In December, Nestlé announced the launch of an Institute of Packaging Sciences, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, to evaluate and develop sustainable packaging materials in collaboration with industrial partners.
Next month, the firm will begin eliminating all plastic straws from its ready-to-drink products in international markets. The first pilot market will be the Dominican Republic, where it will carry out testing of paper straws for its Nesquik drink. Brazil will be the second pilot market.