Our packaging sustainability strategy
We are committed to helping to shape a waste-free future.
Our vision is that none of our packaging ends up in landfill or as litter. We are helping create a future where cleverly designed packaging, innovative new materials, better recycling infrastructure and reusable or refillable packaging can prevent waste on land and in oceans. This goal is ambitious, but we are determined to achieve it.
Participation from all levels of society is needed. We are committed to playing an active role in the development of well-functioning collection, sorting and recycling schemes across the countries where we operate. The global infrastructure gap is significant and not in our control – but we are working to model successful collection and resource recovery systems with partners around the world.
We actively advocate for harmonized and better regulation of post-consumer resources and call on governments to accelerate progress on infrastructure development. We advocate for a legally binding UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, which we hope will lead to new, harmonized national regulations.
How we are working to reduce our packaging
Our five-pillar packaging strategy
Our packaging strategy is science-based, and benefits from the industry leading work of the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Science, which is the only research institute of its kind in the food industry. Set up in 2019, it has around 50 packaging experts dedicated to developing the next generation of sustainable packaging materials.
The Institute is helping to evolve the way packaging is designed, developing refillable or reusable packaging systems, designing simplified or recycled packaging materials, and developing high-performance barrier papers and bio-based, compostable and biodegradable materials.
Our strategy is structured around five pillars:
1 Reducing our use of plastic packaging materialWe want to use less packaging material, including less virgin plastic, which we plan to reduce by a third by 2025. Examples of how we are doing this include removing unnecessary plastic lids, accessories, layers and films.
In 2022, Nescafé Dolce Gusto unveiled new capsules that will save more than 2500 tonnes of polypropylene thanks to a 13% plastic weight reduction in the capsules.
2 Scaling reusable and refillable systemsTo eliminate the need for disposable packaging, we are working to eliminate non-recyclable plastics and investing in innovative, alternative delivery systems.
Many of these solutions are already in use in markets around the world, including refillable systems for Nescafé, confectionery and pet food products in France, and Gerber baby food in the United States. In addition, Nestlé Professional continues to roll out the ALDO refillable automatic powdered beverage dispenser around the world and we are trialing reusable packaging for Nesquik, Ricoré and Chocapic in France.
We recognize that more needs to be done and are working with retail partners to increase and scale up reuse and refill systems.
3 Designing better packaging materialsWe are collaborating with industrial partners to develop new packaging materials and solutions. For example, we had eliminated all plastic straws from our products by the end of 2021, developing bespoke papers as an alternative material.
Across our portfolio, we are continually evaluating our materials and testing and introducing alternatives, such as sustainably sourced and recyclable paper for Maggi bouillon cubes in France, instead of the prior multi-material wrappers.
We aim to design 100% of our plastic packaging for recycling and are phasing out non-recyclable materials. By the end of 2022, 81.9% of our plastic packaging had been designed for recycling.
4 Supporting infrastructure that helps to make recycling easierWe work to help stop plastic leakage into the environment across our global operations. We support collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure in the countries where our products are sold and, in some countries, aim to collect and recycle the same amount of plastic as we use in our products under a “one tonne in, one tonne out” principle.
For example, In Malaysia, Nestlé joined forces with Petaling Jaya City to launch a door-to-door collection and recycling program as a voluntary recovery initiative. By the end of 2022, we had successfully collected over 5800 tonnes of post-consumer packaging waste, of which nearly 3800 tonnes was plastic. This pioneering program has been recognized by both the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Ministry of Environment Malaysia as an example of separation-at-source best practice.
In Indonesia, we supported Project STOP in Pasaruan, East Java, in building a waste management system from the ground up for two communities of 130 000 households which previously had no access to waste management. After three years of work, open burning and unmanaged dumping have been replaced with twice weekly separate collection of organic and non-organic household waste. Project STOP’s collection, sorting and industrial composting service prepares post-consumer sorted materials for sale and produces compost, while building clean neighborhoods and creating 124 full-time jobs.
5 Shaping new behaviorsAddressing the plastic waste challenge requires fundamental behavioral change from all of us, including Nestlé, retail partners, suppliers and consumers.
We have rolled out Packaging Sustainability training for our employees, and aim to educate and encourage others through a diverse range of programs and campaigns, helping everyone imagine a waste-free future. Examples include Nespresso’s capsule collection program videos, the Dove Lo Butto digital platform in Italy, which helps customers identify the nearest location to dispose of their packaging waste, and Nescafé Dolce Gusto consumer education campaigns in Germany and Mexico.