SWITZERLAND – Nestlé has signed the European Plastics Pact, as part of the food and beverage giant’s efforts to achieve 100% recyclable or reusable packaging and reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025.
The European Plastics Pact, initiated by France and the Netherlands, aims to accelerate the transition towards a circular plastics economy and stop the sole dependence plastics made from non-renewable fossil fuel.
The Pact brings together various actors including leading companies, NGOs and governments, who are together committing to realize common goals by 2025 and go beyond the current legislation.
The targets include reducing virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%, raising collection and recycling capacity in Europe for plastic packaging by at least 25% and boosting the use of recycled plastics in packaging to an average of at least 30%.
“We are pleased to sign the European Pact,” Marco Settembri, Nestlé CEO for Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
“One of our joint objectives is to create a circular economy by improving collection, sorting and recycling schemes across Europe. Already today a new Vittelplastic bottle is manufactured out of used ones.
“Tomorrow, we want to make sure that also other packaging, such as our wrappers and pouches, can be recycled into new food packaging”.
Nestlé’s says that its top priority is the safety of its products and in-order to achieve food-grade recycled plastics, the company notes that recycling processes will have to evolve.
Currently, the food industry is facing a major challenge with the use of plastic packaging; it is cheaper to produce packaging from virgin plastics than to use recycled food-grade plastics.
To overcome this challenge, Nestlé recently announced a more than US$2.08bn investment in recycled food- grade plastics aiming at giving a clear signal to recycling companies to focus on recycled food-grade material and help create a new market.
To further reduce the use of virgin plastics, Nestlé is currently trialling a packaging-free system for dispensing Purina PetCare pet food and Nescafé soluble coffee.
The company has also partnered with LOOP, a home-delivery service providing reusable packaging and launched a US$259m to invest in start-up companies that focus on providing innovative packaging solutions including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions.
These efforts strengthen the company’s ambition to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025.