Nestlé to use less plastic packaging in confectionery sharing bags

Irish News, Sustainability | Fri 26 Mar | Author – Business & Finance

New sharing bags will use on average 15% less packaging – saving 83 tonnes of virgin plastic every year. The move will save 130 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year1, thanks to efficiencies arising directly from the savings.

Nestlé in the UK and Ireland has redesigned its confectionery sharing bags to use significantly less packaging – a move that will see at least 83 tonnes of virgin plastic taken out of its supply chain every year.

From April, Nestlé’s products will come in new narrower pouches. Nestlé sells approximately 140 million confectionery sharing bags in the UK and Ireland every year. According to Nestlé, this change will save almost 1 million2 square metres of packaging – equivalent in area to 131 football pitches.

Cheryl Allen, Head of Sustainability for Nestlé Confectionery said: “Nestlé is working hard to reduce its use of virgin plastic by one third by 2025. Removing 15 per cent of the packaging from our sharing bags is an important step towards this goal. The move will not only save on the amount of virgin plastic we use each year, it will have significant benefits throughout our supply chain in the UK and Ireland.

“For example, we can now pack more sharing bags at a time, which means fewer lorries are needed to transport them. In total, we will be able to take the equivalent of 331 lorries off UK roads every year, saving 71472 road miles and 130 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Alongside reducing the amount of packaging used, Nestlé is aiming to make it easier to recycle plastic wrappers which are not currently collected at kerbside. Its partnership with TerraCycle3 gives consumers the ability to recycle confectionery wrappers now, while changes in technology and infrastructure are being worked on. Flexible plastic packaging can be dropped off at around 300 TerraCycle recycling points across the UK and Ireland.  The waste is sent to a specialist recycler, where it is turned into plastic pellets that can be used to manufacture new products such as outdoor furniture  and storage boxes, meaning the wrappers recycled this way won’t end up as landfill or litter in the environment.

Nestlé has also joined the Flexible Packaging Consortium with Ella’s Kitchen, Mars and Taylors of Harrogate, working with waste and recycling experts SUEZ. The consortium recently released a new report providing recommendations to increase flexible packaging recycling in the UK.