12 April, 2018
Nestle declared plans to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, with a vision that none of the food giant’s packaging — including plastics — ends up in landfills or as litter. Nestle will focus on three goals: eliminating non-recyclable plastics; encouraging use of plastics with better recycling rates; and eliminating or changing complex combinations of packaging materials.
Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world faces and tackling the problem requires a collective approach.
The company’s motivations include helping with the development of strong collection, sorting and recycling schemes in countries where it operates; working with industry leaders to explore different packaging solutions; labeling product packaging with recycling information; and promoting a market for recycled plastics by increasing their use in food packaging.
Nestle’s vow to take things a step further by helping countries that use its products to create better recycling systems and to use more recycled plastics in its own packaging seems encouraging in a world where customers, especially millennials, clamor for sustainable products and indicate they are willing to shell out additional dough to pay for them.
Though Nestle’s declaration is admirable, some environmental groups are crying foul. In a written statement, Greenpeace said without quantifiable goals, Nestle is creating good feelings — but isn’t committing to meaningful action.
Unilever recently struck a partnership to pioneer a new technology that converts PET waste back into virgin-grade material for use in food packaging. Unilever has already pledged to make all of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Coca-Cola announced in January plans to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it sells globally by 2030 as part of a company-wide initiative called “World Without Waste.”
Although only time will tell whether such strategies are effective in satisfying customers and improving the environment, the call for sustainability is strong. Even more companies will likely be adopting green practices and the marketing efforts to promote them