In April 2018, Nestlé announced it would make all packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. The company expects to save 418 tons of plastic annually with the switch. As part of their push to reduce plastic across the company, Nestlé’s Japan branch has introduced mini Kit Kats with paper packaging. To attract users without the shiny plastic, each package has instructions on making the wrapper into origami.
The company is replacing packaging as part of a larger sustainability plan. Nestlé laid out a more detailed plan for its recycled and non-plastic packaging in January 2019. The company is investing in research for its sustainability agenda, they created a packaging research facility in December 2018. The center’s goal is to find sustainable, recyclable plastic alternatives. The company will eliminate plastic straws and add paper packaging to multiple products in the next 18 months. In addition to plastic, the company also announced a plan for net carbon emissions by 2050, citing climate change as a significant business risk.
A consumer packaging company of Nestlé’s breadth and depth taking a stance on plastic is a big deal. 4 million KitKats are sold in Japan each day and the company’s sales have increased each year since 2016. Plastic-heavy brands like Gerber, Häagen-Dazs, and Poland Spring are under the Nestlé umbrella. As the company grows, its commitment to reducing plastic will become more crucial.
In a statement on plastic packaging, the company’s CEO Mark Schneider shared the company’s goal, “We want to be a leader in developing the most sustainable packaging solutions for our food and beverage products…..Through this, we hope to address the growing packaging waste problem, in particular plastics. We aim to minimize our impact on the natural environment while safely delivering to our consumers healthier and tastier products.”
A 2018 audit showed that Nestle was among the worst brands for plastic pollution. Plastic’s excess and affect on our planet has been widely reported as the pollution continues to grow. Plastic harms our planets ecosystems and oceans, 700 species are threatened by plastic in the ocean.
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