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Nestle Commits $2B to Sustainable Packaging Shift

January 16, 2020

4 Min Read
Nestle Commits $2B to Sustainable Packaging Shift
Nestle is making a large investment in sustainable packaging and packaging materials. Image courtesy of Nestle

Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle announced plans Thursday to invest up to CHF 2 billion (about $2.072 billion) to source 2 million mt of food-grade recycled plastics through 2025 and provide funding to start-up companies that are developing sustainable packaging solutions.

“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” Nestle Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider said in a company press release. “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.”

The investment is part of the firm’s 2018 pledge to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. Over the next several years, it also intends to work on furthering the circular economy and help to clean plastic waste in oceans, lakes, and rivers. By the end of the period, Nestle said it will cut its use of virgin plastics by a third. 

CHF 1.5 billion will be used to purchase food-grade recycled plastics and “create a market” for the materials, according to the company, and CHF250 million will go toward the sustainable packaging venture fund to assist firms in the creation of new materials, refill systems, and recycling solutions. 

“We are pleased to see Nestle commit a CHF 2 billion investment toward creating a circular economy for plastics, alongside a reduction of its use of virgin plastic in packaging by one third by 2025,” said Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in a statement. “By eliminating plastics we don’t need, innovating in areas like reuse models and new materials, and circulating the plastics we do need – also in more challenging food grade applications – we can create an economy where plastic never becomes waste. Achieving the commitments announced today will significantly contribute towards realizing this vision.”

Nestle opened the Nestle Institute of Packaging Science in Vevey, Switzerland in September 2019 to make advancements in environmentally friendly packaging, including compostable and biodegradable materials, high performance barrier papers, and refillable or reusable packaging. 

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