SWITZERLAND – Nestlé has committed to invest up to CHF 2 billion (US$2.08bn) to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.
The commitment builds on the company’s 2018 pledge to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Nestlé said that it will cut its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period whilst working with other partners to advance the circular economy and endeavor to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers.
Acknowledging that most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, the Swiss food and beverage giant plans to foster a circular economy with stakeholders across the industries aimed at increasing assimilation of recycled plastic.
Nestlé has therefore committed to sourcing up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and allocating more than CHF 1.5 billion (US$1.56bn) to pay a premium for these materials over the next five year.
The company noted that it will seek operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral.
Fund to boost innovative packaging launched
Nestle is also launching a CHF 250 million (US$259m) sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on providing innovative packaging solutions including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions.
This will complement the company’s significant inhouse research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, on the path towards a waste-free future
These initiatives come in addition to Nestlé’s major ongoing efforts in research, sourcing and manufacturing to make its packaging recyclable or reusable and contribute to its goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
As part of the company’s packaging commitment to increase transparency, Nestlé said that it will continue to outline further initiatives and provide regular progress updates.
“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry.
‘That is why in addition to minimizing plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable.
“We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”