Food maker Nestlé has said it will invest up to CHF 2 billion (US$2.07bn) this year that in order to reduce the use of plastics within five years to switch to food-grade recycled plastics.
In addition to promoting recycled plastics, Nestlé also plans to change its current packaging to new sustainable packaging in order to achieve the company's goal of 2025: full use of recyclable or reusable packaging materials. Nestle's current brands include Nespresso coffee, Vittel mineral water and Smarties chocolate.
In 2018, Nestlé used 1.7m tons of plastic packaging, of which 65% was reusable, recyclable or compostable. The target is to hit 100% by 2025. In addition, Nestlé also intends to reduce the use of virgin plastic by one-third in the next five years, and allocate CHF 250 million as a venture capital fund. The investment goal is to start-up companies dedicated to waste recycling.
Nestlé, which hopes to build a market for recycled plastics, plans to purchase up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics to pay for the material surcharge required between now and 2025. It will also allocate more than 1.5 billion Swiss francs.
“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter.”, said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimizing plastic use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are talking 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.”
In response to this statement from Nestlé, Matthias Wuthrich of Greenpeace's Swiss arm said it was "only partially exciting." Because this is a step in the right direction, but to end the current crisis, it is still necessary to stop useless plastic production operations and adopt a new supply system.