INTERNATIONAL – Nestlé has set up a research institute to develop more environmentally friendly packaging for its products and reduce plastic waste, taking matters into its own hands rather than relying on its suppliers.
Having been identified by environmental group Greenpeace as one of the biggest producers of plastic waste that is polluting landfill sites and oceans, Nestlé has also been criticized for its lack of action to address the problem.
“It’s our name on the package, so we want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to developing solutions,” Nestlé chief executive Mark Schneider said on Thursday at the inauguration of the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences in Lausanne.
“We are pushing our suppliers because we have the feeling they have not really delivered,” Schneider told Reuters during a tour of the new research facilities, adding that the move had generated “creative tension” among the group’s suppliers.
The maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafe instant coffee has vowed to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 — one of the focus areas of the new institute in Lausanne, western Switzerland.