Nestlé Takes Strides to Reduce Plastic Waste

The Swiss food giant has committed to phasing out plastic straws this year.
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Nestle has announced a series of specific actions to help fulfill its goal of making 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. The goal, announced in April 2018, targets all single-use packaging but focuses specifically on non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle plastic.

In February, Nestle will begin removing all plastic straws from its products. Nestle water bottles will also be reformulated to increase their recycled PET content to 35 percent globally and 50 percent domestically by 2025.

"While we are committed to pursuing recycling options where feasible, we know that 100 percent recyclability is not enough to successfully tackle the plastics waste crisis,” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider in a statement. “We need to push the boundaries and do more. We are determined to look at every option to solve this complex challenge and embrace multiple solutions that can have an impact now.”

In December, Nestle announced the creation of its Institute of Packaging Sciences in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Institute will work to develop more eco-friendly packaging alternatives using new paper-based materials and biodegradable and compostable polymers.

Nestle also recently announced a new partnership with Danimer Scientific, a leading developer of biodegradable plastic products, to help develop more eco-friendly plastic alternatives.

Nestlé has made other eco-conscious commitments in the past, including transitioning to exclusively cage-free eggs beginning in 2017. More recently, the company announced the launch of its own plant-based Incredible Burger in spring 2019. 

Nestle is not alone in its goal of make packaging more environmentally friendly. This week, many of the world's largest plastic chemical manufacturers formed the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and together committed $1 billion to fighting plastic pollution.

A report commissioned by the European Audit Committee and published this week notes that plastic pollution in the oceans could triple in the next ten years if more is not done to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics.

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