Wrap plastic

Nestlé has announced an ambition to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

The Swiss food & drink giant today (10 April) revealed the aim for none of its packaging, including plastics, to end up in landfill or as litter – stressing the “urgent need to minimise the impact of packaging on the environment”.

Recognising the need to develop a circular economy and to stop packaging material ending up as waste in seas, oceans and waterways, Nestlé intends to focus on three core areas: eliminating non-recyclable plastics; encouraging the use of plastics that allow better recycling rates, and eliminating or changing complex combinations of packaging materials.

The supplier has pledged to play an active role in the development of effective collection, sorting and recycling schemes across the countries in which it operates. It also intends to work with value chain partners and industry associations “to explore different packaging solutions to reduce plastic usage, facilitate recycling and develop new approaches to eliminate plastic waste”. And it will label its plastic product packaging with recycling information to help consumers dispose of it in the right way.

Nestlé also committed today to promoting a market for recycled plastics by continuing to increase the proportion of recycled plastics in packaging.

Plastic waste was “one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider. “Tackling it requires a collective approach. We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, re-use and recycle.”

The Nestlé announcement comes after a poll by research agency Delineate yesterday revealed 35% of British consumers were seriously concerned about the battle against plastic waste.

Greenpeace this afternoon accused Nestlé of not going far enough with its plans.

“As the largest food and drink company in the world, Nestlé should be leading on sustainable packaging, but their new commitments lack ambition,” said Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK.

Greater transparency, a higher proportion of recycled content, and support for recycling are all welcome, but Nestlé needs to do more to move the needle towards the elimination of problem plastic.

Edge called on the company to remove non-recyclable plastic “far sooner” than 2025, and phase out all single-use plastic packaging.