Nestlé to spend $2bn switching to recycled plastics

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
21 January 2020

Nestlé has pledged to spend up to 2bn Swiss francs ($2.07bn) to switch from virgin to recycled plastics.

The company said it would cut its use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025, building on its 2018 commitment to make 100% of packaging recyclable or reusable by the same date.

Nestlé said it would work with others to “advance the circular economy and endeavour to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers”. It said it would create a market in food-grade recycled plastics by committing to source up to 2m tonnes of such plastics and allocating more than CHF1.5bn ($1.6bn) to “pay a premium for these materials between now and 2025”.

“Nestlé will seek operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral,” the firm said.

The company said it would launch a CHF250m ($258m) sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-ups working with new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions.

Nestlé has a goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, said: “No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter.

“Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimising plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry.”

Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “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. Achieving the commitments announced today will significantly contribute towards realising this vision.”

Last week Nestlé said it had identified 18,000 children in the cocoa supply chain.

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