Nestlé signs up to European Plastics Pact to push for 100% recyclable or reusable packaging

Food and beverage giant Nestlé has announced that its European business is following in the footsteps of its UK operations by signing up to the European Plastics Pact to help achieve its goals of ensuring packaging is 100% reusable or recyclable by 2025.

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging

Nestlé UK and Ireland was a founding member of the world’s first plastic pact, launched in the UK by WRAP in 2018. The company has now committed to a European version of the pact, convened by France and the Netherlands, to promote the circular economy across its European markets.

The European Plastics Pact commits signatories to reducing virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%, raising the collection and recycling capacity of plastics in Europe by at least 25% and boosting the use of recycled content in plastic packaging to an average of 30%.

Nestlé’s chief executive for  Europe, Middle East and North Africa Marco Settembri said: "We are pleased to sign the European Pact. One of our joint objectives is to create a circular economy by improving collection, sorting and recycling schemes across Europe.

“In the UK, Buxton made an important announcement that their whole range will be made from recycled plastic next year. We want to make sure that also other packaging, such as our wrappers and pouches, can be recycled into new food packaging”.

Plastic approach

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging, alongside a pledge to cut the amount of virgin plastics it sources by a third.

The company’s 2025 targets align with the UK Plastics Pact and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Nestlé is disclosing data as to how it is reducing its 1.7 million metric tonnes of plastics packaging.

Since the 2025 targets were set, the company has rolled out plastic-free packaging, which is being used for the firm’s new YES! snack bar brand is made using coated paper that is classed as widely recyclable in the UK and mainland Europe. The company has also revealed plans to make all plastics packaging across its Buxton water brand with 100% recycled content by 2021.

The company is also making strides to reduce its plastics footprint internally. In January 2019, Nestlé launched a sweeping set of new ambitions related to single-use plastics. Globally, the company has launched a recyclable paper pouch for its new chocolate milk drink, Nesquik All-Natural powder, and has begun work to remove plastic straws from its beverage portfolio. It is also planning to launch plastic-free packaging for Milo, Nesquik and Smarties sharing bags before the end of 2019.

Nestlé’s head of sustainability for Nestlé UK & Ireland Anna Turrell also appeared on the latest episode of edie's Sustainable Business Covered podcast. You can listen to the 25-minute interview as a standalone conversation here.

Matt Mace



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