Sustainability: Nestlé unveils actions for waste-free packaging transformation

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By Simon Akoje and Augusta Uchediunor

Lagos, Sept. 9, 2020 (NAN) Nestlé, the world’s largest food & beverage company, says it is intensifying actions to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

According to the company, it is also intensifying actions to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one-third in the same period.

Nestlé at a virtual Media Event on Nestle’s Packaging Progress on Tuesday announced a series of new initiatives that include a 30 million dollars investment to increase food-grade recycled plastics in the U.S.

The initiatives also include a refillable system for pet food in Chile and a first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the virtual event connected the people working on the frontline of Nestle’s sustainable packaging to shape a waste-free future.

The event was hosted by Nestlé ‘s Executive Vice-President and Head of Operations, Magdi Batato; Chief Technology Officer, Stefan Palzer and Vice-President of Sustainable Packaging, Véronique Cremades-Mathis.

The meeting announced the first investment of Nestlé ‘s sustainable packaging venture fund, discussed progress made, updates on pilot projects on refillable and reusable packaging as well as other innovation.
Véronique Cremades-Mathis, Global Head of Sustainable Packaging, Nestlé, said: “ Currently, 87 per cent of Nestlé’s packaging is already recyclable or reusable.

“We have made strides in our transformative journey towards a waste-free future, but we know that we have more work to do.

“ As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we’re committed to putting our size and scale to work to tackle the packaging waste problem everywhere that we operate.”

According to the company, even as COVID-19 has presented more challenges, the company’s commitment to sustainable packaging remains the same.

Also, a statement by Nestlé, said that the company had continued to play a leading role in helping to solve the issue of plastic pollution through its three-pillar approach launched in January 2019.

“Pillar One includes 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 U.K.

“Nestlé’s water business has doubled the amount of rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate or recycled PET) used since 2019 across its still water portfolio in the U.S. to 16.5 per cent,” it said.

Pillar Two involves shaping a waste-free future. In August 2020, Nestlé Philippines reached plastic neutrality.

“That means Nestlé collected and co-processed the equivalent amount of plastic as 2/2 contained in the products sold and prevented the further flow of plastic into landfills and oceans.

“Together with Project STOP, Nestlé creates a sustainable waste management system and helps reduce ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia.

Pillar Three is driving new behaviour. Nestlé is rolling out a sustainable packaging education and training programme for over 290,000 employees to accelerate behaviour change and help the company meet its packaging objectives.

Additionally, the company announced that it is seeking to identify and support innovative solutions through the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, which launches on Sept. 30, 2020.

“ In partnership with the non-profit organisation 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.

“Research outcomes include new refillable or reusable systems, simplified materials, high performance barrier papers and the introduction of more recycled content to Nestlé’s packaging,” it said.

The institute collaborates closely with more than 180 packaging experts embedded in Nestlé’s global R&D network, as well as with research institutions, startups and suppliers.

Nestlé will continue to introduce alternative packaging materials and new delivery systems, invest in infrastructure and work with consumers to help solve the packaging waste challenge

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