In January the food giant revealed it would dramatically reduce its reliance on virgin plastics as part of a CHF 2bn (£1.59bn) investment in sustainable packaging.
Nestlé already claims 87% of its packaging is recyclable or reusable. Its new initiatives include a $30m investment to increase food-grade recycled plastics in the US and a refillable system for pet food in Chile. It has also announced what it calls “first-of-its-kind” recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France.
The US investment comes from the company's sustainable packaging venture fund, which will help upgrade recycling infrastructure in the country and secure access to food-grade recycled plastics.
In Chile, Nestlé Purina has launched a refillable system in which customers order via an app and electric tricycles deliver dog food direct to people’s doors.
Maggi is the the first major brand to use recyclable paper packaging to wrap individual bouillon cubes, for its organic range in France. The new solution is a coated paper that is recyclable through the paper stream in France.
Véronique Cremades-Mathis, global head of sustainable packaging, Nestlé, said: “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.”
Nestlé said it focuses on the issue of plastic pollution globally through its three-pillar approach launched in January 2019 – developing new packaging, shaping a waste-free future and encouraging new behaviour.
The food and drink multinational said it was transitioning to paper packaging across various formats. For example, Smarties sharing block is available in a recyclable paper wrapper in the UK.
Nestlé also said it was rolling out a sustainable packaging education and training programme for its more than 290,000 employees to accelerate behaviour change and help it meet its packaging objectives.
Meanwhile, the company revealed that development and testing of new, more environmentally friendly packaging materials was driven by the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences.
The institute’s 50 scientists conduct packaging research to ensure the safety and applicability of new materials. It collaborates closely with more than 180 packaging experts embedded in Nestlé’s global research & development network, plus research institutions, start-ups, and suppliers.
Additionally, the company has announced it would seek to identify and support innovative solutions through the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, which launches on 30 September.
In partnership with the non-profit organization Ashoka, the Nestlé CSV Prize will award CHF 250 000 in grants for innovations such as solutions to tackle plastic waste.
In July, Nestlé revealed it was tapping into the emerging trend for pea protein with the launch of a new range of its YES! snack bars.