Nestlé to invest up to CHF2bn (£1.59bn) to lead the switch from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics. It will also launch a CHF250m sustainable packaging venture fund in order to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.

The company, behind such brands as KitKat and Nesquik, has committed to make 100% of its packaging be recyclable or reusable by 2025. It will also reduce single-use plastics by introducing reusable packaging, new delivery systems, and innovative business models and to reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025.

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Virgin plastics are never-before-processed direct resin produced from a petrochemical feedstock, such as crude oil and natural gas. Food grade plastics are held to higher standards by governments because the material comes in contact with consumables. For this reason, food-grade plastics cannot contain dyes or recycled harmful plastics.

Nestlé is also launching a CHF250m sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on packaging innovation, new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions. This comes as a result of the company’s “major ongoing efforts in research, sourcing and manufacturing to make its packaging recyclable or reusable and contribute to its goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider 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 minimizing 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. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation CEO Andrew Morlet commented:  “We are pleased to see Nestlé commit a CHF2 billion investment toward creating a circular economy for plastics, alongside a reduction of its use of virgin plastic in packaging by one third by 2025. 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 realizing this vision.”