Packaging is essential to safely delivering high-quality food and drinks, communicating nutritional information, and reducing food loss and waste. However, if it ends up as litter in the environment, it poses a major threat. We take this very seriously.
Our vision at Nestlé is that none of our packaging, including plastic, ends up in landfills or as litter in the environment. In pursuit of this vision, we aim to have over 95% of our plastic packaging designed for recycling by 2025. We've made good progress: We are on track to reduce the use of virgin plastic by one-third by 2025 and have consistently reduced our use of virgin plastic since 2019, even while our business continued to grow.
But what does this look like in action?
As our Global Public Affairs Lead for Packaging, I have a bird's eye view of developments coming out of the packaging space. I've picked out three key examples that show how the changes we're making to our own packaging can really add up.
Gerber: A little lid goes a long way
Gerber is an iconic baby food brand sold in 80 countries. When approaching the redesign of Gerber 1st Food and 2nd Food puree tubs, we had two key goals: first, ensure food safety and nutritional quality, and second, reduce virgin plastic. The team made a clever change - they optimized the design by removing the over-cap lids. That change has resulted in saving 2 300 metric tons of plastic each year. That's over 5 million pounds - the weight of about 1 500 cars each year!
Vital Proteins: What's the scoop?
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder also found a simple change that packs a punch. The team moved away from including plastic scoops with the powder and, by the end of this year, aims to be officially scoopless! By offering the same collagen we love without the plastic scoop, they save over 330 000 pounds of plastic annually. Since I'm a user myself, I've already switched to using the teaspoon measurement information on the label with additional instructions to get portions just right.
DiGiorno: If a pizza falls in the forest...
Our third and final example is DiGiorno, a frozen pizza brand available in the United States and Canada. By removing the cardboard centerpiece in select pizza products, we are saving 4 500 000 pounds of cardboard annually. That saves 49 000 trees from being used for virgin paperboard every year.
These three examples can feel like water droplets in the ocean of change we strive for. But that doesn't mean they aren't important. They highlight how even small changes can have big ripple effects. With these three packaging redesigns alone, we saved almost 10 million pounds of packaging materials annually. From the lab to the factory, our packaging teams around the world are working hard across our brands and products to remove unnecessary packaging, try out new materials, and even pilot reusable packaging solutions to help fight waste.
This is only the beginning, and we hope you'll accompany us on this journey as we innovate our packaging future.