Nestlé will invest up to $2 billion in an effort to replace virgin plastics with food-grade recycled plastics. Some of the money will be invested in start-ups developing new materials.
Nestlé pledged two years ago that it would make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. The global food giant has now announced that it will invest up to 2 billion Swiss francs (around USD 2 billion) to help achieve this goal.
One of the challenges facing Nestlé in the shift from virgin plastics to recycled plastics is food quality and safety. “Most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics,” according to Nestlé.
To this end, Nestlé aims to create a market by sourcing up to 2 million metric tones of food-grade recycled plastics and allocating more than 1.5 billion Swiss francs to pay a premium for these materials by 2025. Nestlé will seek out operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral.
According to Nestlé, packaging innovations, such as new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions, are key to achieving a waste-free future, which is why the food giant announced that it will launch a sustainable packaging venture fund in the amount of 250 million Swiss francs to invest in start-ups that focus on these areas. It also intends to increase its own in-house research on packaging sciences.
“No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimizing plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable.”
Image credit: Nestlé