Nestlé Invests $2 Billion in Food-Grade Recycled Plastics
Nestlé plans to invest as much as CHF 2 billion ($2.07 billion) to boost new sustainable packaging solutions and create a stronger market for food-grade recycled plastics.
The Swiss food and beverage company said this week that the investment builds on a 2018 commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. Nestlé expects to reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third during that same period while collaborating with others on advancing the circular economy — and cleaning plastic waste from oceans, lakes, and rivers.
“Most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics,” the company said. In response, Nestlé committed to sourcing as many as 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics, and allocated more than CHF 1.5 billion ($1.55 billion) to pay a premium for those materials between now and 2025.
To keep the initiative earnings-neutral, Nestlé says it intends to pursue operational efficiencies.
“Packaging innovation, including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions, is another key challenge on the path towards a waste-free future,” according to the company. On top of providing in-house research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the company says it’s launching a CHF 250 million ($259 million) sustainable packaging venture fund that will invest in startups focusing on those areas.
Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, praised Nestlé’s circular economy investments. “By eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating in areas like reuse models and new materials, and circulating the plastics we do need — also in more challenging food-grade applications — we can create an economy where plastic never becomes waste,” he said.
Jan. 27, 2020