To highlight UK Recycle Week from Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th September, Nestlé, the world’s biggest food and drink manufacturer is turning its prominent offices in York green for the week. Nestlé House, the office building sited on the company’s historic York confectionery campus will glow green and proudly display the iconic recycling swoosh from dawn to dusk this week. Low energy LED lights using electricity produced on-site from Nestlé’s combined heat and power plant mean the campaign truly is a green one.
Nestlé UK & Ireland Head of Sustainability Anna Turrell said: “We are very proud to be supporting Recycle Week in the UK. The issue of packaging waste is one that we all have a role to play in tackling. Recycling is a critical part of the solution. At Nestlé, we are working hard to create a truly circular economy by eliminating waste and creating a value for our packaging materials like plastic so it can have multiple lives and uses. We are making some good progress in our ambition to have 100% of our packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025, but we recognise there is still a lot more to do. Working together with industry, government and consumers, we can achieve higher recycling rates. We can do this by supporting a simpler and standardised collection process across the UK, by producing only packaging that is easy to recycle, and reducing waste by eliminating non-recyclable or unnecessary packaging from consumer products. We’re know that this is a huge task and that we’ve got a lot more to do, but we’re committed and invested in this journey and will keep working until we meet our goals.”
Increasing levels of recycling, alongside making more packaging recyclable is key to reducing the amount of litter damaging the environment. Nestlé is making good progress in its ambition to have 100% of its packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025. Paper packaging for the new range of Yes! fruit and nut bars, strong enough for use on high-speed production lines, is just one recent breakthrough innovation to come out of Nestlé’s R&D centre in York. The empty wrappers can be disposed of for recycling alongside consumer’s old newspapers and magazines for council collection.
To achieve the 2025 goal, and minimize the impact of packaging on the environment, there are many further innovations in the pipeline, now accelerated with the opening of the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences in Switzerland. The Institute is focusing on a number of science and technology areas, such as refillable or reusable packaging, simplified packaging materials, recycled packaging materials, high-performance barrier papers as well as bio-based, compostable and biodegradable materials.
Despite the significant developments in the packaging innovation pipeline, Nestlé understands that consumers are demanding recycling options now. Essential developments like improved and standardised national recycling infrastructure will take time for the Government and the wider industry to deliver. Nestlé is taking interim measures to play its part in reducing litter and increasing recycling. These measures include:
- No more black caps from the nation’s favourite instant coffee – The vast majority of sorting machines at recycling centres do not detect black plastic. As a result, black plastic goes to incinerators or landfill sites in other parts of the world by local authority contractors. Nescafé has eliminated black plastic from across its consumer range meaning all of its lids can be recycled.
- Nescafé Dolce Gusto pods recyclable nationwide – the hugely popular Dolce Gusto which this year launched a range of Starbucks roasts and varieties is now recyclable, with UK consumers able to us the CollectPlus system to return their used pods at more than 7,500 outlets across the country.
- Buxton bottles are 100% recyclable – made using PET, a key plastic widely accepted in recycling facilities, the sponsor of the London Marathon’s bottle has been designed to be as lightweight and durable as possible and contains a minimum of 20% recycled PET – a figure Buxton is committed to increase to 100%.
- Iconic Nestlé confectionery brands like KitKat, Munchies, Aero, Milkybar and Rowntree’s are now recyclable in a major pilot scheme. In a partnership with TerraCycle, Nestlé has set up a confectionery packaging scheme allowing consumers to dispose of their confectionery packaging at public drop-off locations across the UK. The packaging is shredded, washed and then palletised. The pellets are then used to make sturdy plastic products like park benches or fences.
Recycle Week in the UK is organised by WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, and runs from Monday 23rd to Sunday, 29th September 2019. Nestlé is working closely with WRAP on a number of initiatives, including Recycle Week, the UK Plastics Pact and Love Food Hate Waste.
Nestlé is a founding member of The Plastics Pact a unique collaboration of business, NGOs and Government working to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.