Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food company, is on a mission to reduce plastic waste. This week, the Swiss group announced they will be dropping plastic straws from their products and will also focus on creating biodegradable water bottles.
With environmental groups all over the world advocating for alternatives to single-use plastic, Nestle says these changes are part of a campaign to make all of their packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. Beginning next month, the company will begin using different materials such as paper, and will also be replacing their plastic straws and using innovative designs to reduce litter.
The company is also working with Danimer Scientific to create a new biodegradable water bottle, and with PureCycle Technologies to develop food-grade recycled polypropylene, which is a polymer used for food packaging, specifically for food packaged in trays, tubs, cups and bottles.
Nestle Waters, the bottled water unit of the Nestle brand, is also aiming to increase the content of polyethylene terephthalate, or recycled PET, in its bottles. By 2025, they have a goal of increasing the recycled PET content to 35 percent globally, and 50 percent in the United States.
Magdi Batato, Nestle’s global head of operations, says that the company is still trying to figure out the impact of the new packaging, Reuters reports. It could possibly reduce their products’ shelf life and increase manufacturing costs, but they don’t know for sure.
“Some of those alternative solutions are even cheaper, some of them are cost neutral, and indeed some of them are more expensive,” Batato said.
In their press release, Nestle said that the plastic waste challenge would require a change in everyone’s behavior, and they are committed to leading the way. All 4,200 of their facilities around the globe are “committed to eliminating single-use plastic items that cannot be recycled,” and will replace those items with new materials that can easily be reused or recycled.