Nestlé Philippines and the Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DoST) have entered a collaborative agreement to research sustainable packaging,

According to a report by The Manila Times, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between DoST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr and Nestlé Philippines CEO and chair Kais Marzouki.

Apart from sustainable packaging, the two entities will work together to conduct research on nutrition and health, and food safety.

Marzouki claimed that the latest effort is in line with the company’s existing commitment to remain “Kasambuhay for Good” of the country.

Through this initiative, Nestlé aims to engage in sustainable production practices by encouraging responsible consumption through food, which is expected to use compostable and biodegradable packaging materials.

According to NPI Corporate Affairs senior vice-president Jose Uy III, the company is also planning to expedite its efforts to establish a waste-free future by effectively handling the current plastic waste challenges.

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The latest joint effort will also be supported by DoST’s research agency Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI).

Solidum will help in accelerating the planned efforts of ITDI to manufacture kraft paperboard and some other similar materials using the plant cellulose nanofibres for packaging.

Marzouki said: “We want a sustainable waste management opportunity at the end of each product life. And there is no better way to do this than to engage with one of the country’s experts like ITDI.

“To date, mismanaged plastic wastes account for, between 1970 to 2019, an estimated 30 million metric tons of plastics in our oceans and seas while more than 100 million tons had accumulated in rivers and lakes.”

Some additional products that can be made using plant cellulose are disposable napkins, facial tissues, toilet paper, kitchen towels, handkerchiefs, dispensers and other away-from-home (AFH) products.

ITDI director Annabelle Briones said: “Certainly, the issues surrounding plastic waste are bigger than us. However, I would like to believe that we are giants among men.

“We would also be developing other recyclable packaging technologies using bioplastic or thermoplastic starch composite from cassava.”