JAPAN – Nestlé Japan has announced that it is launching recyclable paper packaging for its KitKat products in  part of its initiative to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Japan is the biggest market for KitKats and, according to reports, around 4m KitKat Minis are sold across the country every day and Nestlé expects to save 380 tonnes of plastic every year with the new packaging.

The first phase in this new packaging roll-out will cover the KitKat Mini’s five top-selling flavours, including the original, matcha, and otona no amasa – meaning adult-level sweetness or less sweet. 

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

The updated versions will also come with instructions on how to make an origami paper crane to encourage customers to use their packaging to get creative instead of just throwing it away. 

Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO Stefano Agostini said: “Packaging is fundamental to our business and crucial in delivering safe, high quality food to our customers as well as reducing food waste. This  announcement recognises that we need to do more to address the sustainability of the packaging we use.

“I am positive that, with a renewed focus and a clear aim for the future, we will make a difference for the planet that truly reflects Nestlé’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.”

The company says it hopes to expand the paper packaging to other products soon.

Earlier this year, Nestlé launched a new snack bar that is sold in completely recyclable packaging which degrades in a marine environment within six months. 

The technology was developed in the UK at Nestlé’s confectionery research and development centre and has been launched in 13 countries so far.

In addition, the brand also unveiled its first chocolate bar made without any refined sugar last month.

Patrice Bula, head of strategic business units, marketing and sales at Nestlé, said in a statement: “We’re proud to bring chocolate lovers a new chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit without adding refined sugar. 

“This is a real innovation which uses the natural sweetness of the cocoa pulp to provide a pure, novel chocolate experience.”