Nestle has announced that it’s switching to recyclable wrappers for its Quality Street and KitKat brands of sweets. Quality Street will be using paper packaging. KitKat will use plastic wrappers that are 80% recyclable at stores in the UK and Ireland.
This sustainable switch is expected to eliminate about three billion pieces of wrap from the company’s supply chain. This initiative is part of the global food firm’s commitment to reducing the use of virgin plastic in its products and creating a circular economy.
Nestle said that the transition to paper for its Quality Street sweets results from extensive development of new materials, coating and printing techniques, and adjusting its existing equipment.
Two flavors, Orange Crunch and Green Triangle will keep their existing recyclable foil wrappers. For the other sweets, Nestle expects to be able to transition within the next few months.
“With nine different sweets to consider, the transition has been a huge undertaking,” said Louise Barrett, head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Centre in York. “Each of our existing machines need to be adapted to run paper and then rigorously tested by our packaging experts to ensure we’re still delivering the same quality consumers expect when they open a box of Quality Street.”
New wrappers made of 80% recycled plastic will be introduced for the KitKat brand in October.
First, those will incorporate its flagship two-finger products. By 2024, Nestle expects its entire range to carry the new wrappers. Customers in the UK will be able to recycle the wrappers at over 5,000 supermarkets, while those in Ireland as part of their household recycling.
Nestle introduced its recyclable paper wrappers for the first time in 2021 for its Smarties confectionary brand worldwide. Quality Street will be its second confectionary brand to do so. The company has committed to providing 100% recyclable packaging by 2025 for all its products.
These steps are part of a company-wide plan to support the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The global challenges include addressing poverty, inequality, climate change, peace, justice, and environmental concerns. Nestle also aims to become net-zero by 2050.
As such, Nestle has been active in several domains, such as supporting sustainable coffee, working with farmers to scale climate-smart agriculture projects, managing shared water access and minimizing flood risks, developing regenerative food systems, and many others.
“Climate change and environmental threats such as the degradation of forests, land, soil, and waterways are impacting farmers and communities,” the company notes on its website. “These threats put farmer livelihoods at risk and jeopardize the accessibility and availability of quality food. We must help protect and restore our planet’s resources. This requires a transformative change.”