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Nestlé doubles down on sustainable packaging efforts

A $30 million investment to increase food-grade recycled plastics in the US is among a raft of new initiatives as Nestlé intensifies its sustainable packaging efforts.

The multinational aims to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one-third in the same period.

To help accomplish this aim, it has unveiled a number of new initiatives designed to reduce its reliance on virgin plastics and the create a closer loop system in its supply chain.

As well as the aforementioned $30 million investment, the company will also launch a refillable system for pet food in Chile, and a first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France.

Additionally, the company announced that it is seeking to identify and support innovative solutions through the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, which launches 30 September.

In partnership with the non-profit organization Ashoka, the Nestlé CSV Prize will award CHF 250 000 in grants for system change innovations in areas such as alternative delivery systems and ground-up solutions to tackle plastic waste.

The development and testing of new, more environmentally friendly packaging materials is driven by the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences , the food industry’s first such enterprise.

The institute has around 50 scientists who conduct cutting-edge packaging research to ensure the safety and applicability of new materials.

Research outcomes include new refillable or reusable systems, simplified materials, high-performance barrier papers and the introduction of more recycled content to Nestlé’s packaging.

The institute collaborates closely with more than 180 packaging experts embedded in Nestlé’s global R&D network, as well as with research institutions, start-ups, and suppliers. Nestlé will continue to introduce alternative packaging materials and new delivery systems, invest in infrastructure and work with consumers to help solve the packaging waste challenge.

“We have made strides in our transformative journey towards a waste-free future, but we know that we have more work to do,” said Véronique Cremades-Mathis, Global Head of Sustainable Packaging at Nestlé.

“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.”

To date, 87% of Nestlé’s packaging is already recyclable or reusable.

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