Flexible plastic packaging including pouches, bags and wrappers from single bars, blocks and multipacks will now be accepted through a Confectionery Recycling Programme which takes the accumulated waste and turns it into new plastic items.
Once the chocolate or sweets have been enjoyed, whether it’s a favourite Nestlé confectionery brand like KitKat, Milkybar or Aero or any other brand, consumers simply deposit the waste in their local TerraCycle bin.
TerraCycle accumulates the waste and it is sent to a specialist recycler and turned into plastic pellets. These pellets are then sold to plastic manufacturers who can create new, solid plastic products like chairs and storage boxes.
Transforming food and drink packaging is a major priority for Nestlé worldwide and the company has an ambition to make all of its packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025. The ultimate goal for its confectionery portfolio is to find ways to remove non-recyclable materials and develop recyclable alternatives where possible.
The partnership with TerraCycle and the launch of The Confectionery Recycling Programme provides an immediate option for the recycling of existing confectionery packs and wrappers while new packaging technology is being worked on.
Anna Turrell, Head of Sustainability for Nestlé in the UK & Ireland said: “Nestlé has a lot of people around the world working very hard on new options for our packaging and it’s very clear that how we pack our confectionery will look very different in five years’ time. But people want to recycle their chocolate and sweet wrappers right now and that’s why we are working with TerraCycle to make this option available immediately while we work on alternatives.”
Nestlé revealed its ambition, last year, to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and, in December, announced the creation of the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences. The institute, founded in Lausanne, Switzerland will employ around 50 people and will be dedicated to developing functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging.
Meanwhile, in April last year, Nestlé became a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact, launched by sustainability experts WRAP, bringing together businesses, UK governments and NGOs to work alongside each other in reducing the impact of plastic waste around the world.
The Nestlé Confectionery and TerraCycle tie-up has begun in the UK and will commence in Ireland soon. Shoppers will start to see the TerraCycle logo on the back of confectionery packs over the coming weeks and months. The Confectionery Recycling Programme operates via a network of public drop off locations and shoppers can go to www.terracycle.co.uk/confectionery to find their nearest recycling point. Those interested in the scheme can apply to setup a new collection point to serve their community if they don’t have one nearby. Supermarkets, independent shops, coffee shops, community centres, schools, nurseries and churches are all acting as public locations.