Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, is to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The Swiss multinational, whose products include chocolate, breakfast cereals, coffee, soft drinks and soup, intends that eventually none of its packaging will end up in landfill or as litter.
The company says it decided on these objectives largely because so much packaging now pollutes seas, oceans, waterways and other areas of the planet.
During the next seven years Nestlé aims to cut out non-recyclable plastics, encourage the use of more plastics that are recyclable, and ditch or change the complex mix of packaging materials.
In efforts to develop a circular economy Nestlé will help authorities and businesses to operate efficient collection, sorting and recycling schemes in countries where it manufactures and trades, and will combine with industry associations and supply chain partners to explore packaging methods that reduce plastic use, to facilitate recycling and to find new ways of phasing out plastic waste.
It will label its plastic packaging with recycling information telling consumers how to dispose of it responsibly and will promote a market for recycled plastics by continually increasing the amount used in its own packaging.
Nestlé chief executive Mark Schneider said: “Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today. Tackling it requires a collective approach.
“We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle.”
In a related move, Aldi, the German-owned discount supermarket group with more than 10,000 stores in the UK, mainland Europe, Australia and China, is to use only recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its own-brand products by 2022.
As part of its green policy Aldi will scrap plastic carrier bags, charged at 5p each under government regulations, by the end of this year. Customers will be offered bags for life and 9p reusable bags instead.
UK research company Delineate has just issued poll results stating that 35 per cent of British consumers are seriously worried about progress in the battle against plastic waste.