Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food company, is finally taking an action to reduce plastic waste and lessen its carbon footprint. How? By removing plastic straws from its products, as well as working on biodegradable water bottles.
According to Nestle, which is reportedly on track to have nearly $90 billion in revenue for 2018, the changes are part of a campaign started by several Swiss groups that will begin this February. They will start using different materials, such as paper, and will also be adopting new designs to replace plastic straws.
The company’s bottled water unit, Nestle Waters, is focusing on increasing the content of polyethylene terephthalate, or recycled PET content in its bottle to 35 percent globally, and 50 percent in the United States, by 20205.
Nestle is also collaborating with U.S.-based Danimer Scientific, a biopolymer manufacturer, to create a new biodegradable and recyclable bottle, and is also collaborating with PureCycle Technologies to develop food-grade recycled polypropylene, a polymer used for packing food in trays, tubs, cups and bottles. As part of their formal plans to make 100% of its packaging recyclable, the company unveiled their development lab in Switzerland, the Nestle Institute of Packaging Sciences. The company will innovate and test new packaging solutions to be used across thousands of its brands, from Dog Chow to DiGiornio.
As stated by Magdi Batato, Nestle’s global head of operations, the company is still trying to study the impact of the new packaging like how it will affect the shelf life of products, and their cost. “Some of those alternative solutions are even cheaper, some of them are cost neutral and indeed some of them are more expensive,” he said.
Environmental groups all over the world have been advocating for alternatives to single-use plastic and have been encouraging companies to participate in this global movement. Nestle said in their press release that the reduction of plastic waste challenge would require a change in everyone’s behavior, and they are committed to leading the way.