Nestle unveils plastic-free packaging for snack bars

Food and beverage giant Nestle has unveiled a paper-based alternative to flexible plastic wrapping, which it is using to house its newest snack bar range.

 

The 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. Nestle has pledged to ensure the paper used to make the packaging is from sources certified as sustainable.

Previously, Nestle claims, it was only able to use durable plastic films and laminates during the flow wrap cold seal process which is commonly used to package ambient foods at high speeds. However, it has now developed a system by which this process can put less pressure on the packaging while maintaining speed – meaning that more delicate materials such as coated paper can be used during production.

The new packaging hit supermarket shelves in the UK on Monday (1 July). YES! snack bars were first launched in the UK last summer and are marketed as a healthier alternative to some of Nestle’s best-selling confectionery snacks.

“YES! represents exactly what more and more people are demanding from manufacturers like Nestle now and for the future,” Nestle UK and Ireland’s chief executive Stefano Agostini said.

“[Making] the packaging is sustainable and easy to recycle is an important step as we work to make all of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.”

Wider action

Nestle first set its 2025 commitments on packaging in 2018 as part of WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact pledge.

Since then, 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.

Elsewhere in its plastic strategy, Nestle recently joined Project STOP, a business-led initiative aiming to prevent plastic pollution from leaking into waterways and oceans across South-East Asia. Founded by innovative materials firm Borealis and blockchain developer SYSTEMIQ in 2017, Project STOP was created in a bid to tackle the 12 million tonnes of plastic estimated to be seeping into the marine environment every year.

Nestle is additionally a member of the World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) – a collective of businesses, non-profits and public sector bodies working collaboratively to tackle the 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear abandoned in the world's oceans each year, most of which is plastic.

Sarah George



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