Global food giant Nestle said in a Thursday press release it will invest up to CHF 2 billion ($2 billion) to accelerate a 2018 pledge to focus on sustainable packaging solutions.
Nestle announced in 2018 it hopes to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. The majority of plastics used in food packaging are difficult to recycle and the supply of food-grade recycled plastics is limited.
Nestle is announcing it will commit to purchase up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics to help encourage new supply sources. The company will also allocate more than CHF 1.5 billion to pay a premium price for these materials through 2025.
To balance the higher cost of materials, the company expects to find operational efficiencies so there will be no impact on earnings, the company said. In addition, Nestle will create a CHF 250 million sustainable packaging venture fund that will seek out and invest in start-up companies that focus on food-safe plastic products.
Why It's Important
Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said in the press release created a new market for recycled plastics that are also food safe is an "enormous challenge" for the food industry. The company hopes to also find a solution 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," the CEO said. "We welcome others to join us on this journey."
Nestle's Thursday announcement fits in with its broader and more ambitious goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century, the company said. The company plans on keeping the public informed on its progress through regular updates.