Switzerland-based food and beverage giant Nestlé has said it will invest up to CHF2bn (US$2.07bn) in a shift to recycled plastic packaging.

The KitKat chocolate bar and Maggi sauce brands owner said it will allocate more than CHF1.5bn to pay for the extra cost of food-grade recycled plastics and will also launch a CHF250m sustainable packaging venture fund to “accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions”. The fund will invest in start-up companies that focus on these areas.

Nestlé said it will seek “operational efficiencies” to ensure the initiative remains neutral on earnings.

The company has previously vowed to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. It said today (16 January) it would reduce its use of new plastics by one third in the same period.

Nestlé said it will work with others to “advance the circular economy and endeavour to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers”.

In terms of future product packaging, the company said it is committed to sourcing up to 2m metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and will pay a premium for these materials between now and 2025. 

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By GlobalData

These two initiatives come in addition to Nestlé’s ongoing efforts in research, sourcing and manufacturing to make its packaging recyclable or reusable and contribute to its goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, said: “No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter. 

“Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimising plastics use and collecting waste, we want 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.”