United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Shaping a Waste Free Future

Nestle (China) Ltd. (
Private sector
)
#SDGAction33584
    Description
    Intro

    The issue of plastic waste in the environment is one of the most pressing global challenges the world faces today. As the world’s leading food and beverages company Nestlé has stepped up to meet this challenge. Our vision is to ensure that none of our packaging (including plastics) ends up in landfill or as litter. We have publicly committed in April 2018 that by 2025, 100% of our packaging will be recyclable or reusable, and we will reduce our use of virgin plastics by one third. Tackling this challenge requires a wide range of actions. We have therefore organized our actions around three pillars: developing packaging for the future, helping to shape a waste-free future, and driving new behavior and understanding.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    1: Developing packaging for the future • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastics: Nestlé introduced a “Negative List” of these materials that we will stop using and a timetable to phase out their use across all our packaging, such as eliminated PVDC coating on plastics, paper and paperboard. • Simplify the packaging materials that we use: one highlight is that we replaced the un-recyclable flexible laminate packaging (PET/Al/PE) for our Nescafé product by recyclable mono-PP materials. • Explore bio-based plastics: we have successfully replaced 30% of the traditional plastic milk powder caps with bio-based material to reduce the usage of petroleum-based plastics. • Develop plastic-free paper packaging to replace plastic-coated paper packaging: we developed one varnish to replace paperboard boxes and gift boxes using BOPP film. 2. Helping to shape a waste-free future • Neutrality: Neutrality means Nestlé collected and co-processed the equivalent amount of plastics as contained in the products sold. We have cooperated with two recyclers to neutralize PET and flexible laminate packaging. • Collaboration and partnership: We engage with relevant stakeholders, seeking partnership and collaboration opportunities for the establishment and enhancement of plastic collection, sorting and recycling systems and infrastructure, in order to increase recycling rate. • Advocacy: We actively promote a favorable policy and regulatory environment for sustainable packaging, such as EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) and the usage of food-grade rPET. 3: Driving new behavior and understanding • Internal: We organized employee volunteering cleanup campaigns in partnership with environmental NGOs. We strive to eliminate non-recyclable single-use plastic items across all our sites. We developed plastic training course on mobile phone to increase employee’s awareness. • External: We encourage and guide our consumers to take same actions as we do. For example, on October 28, 2020, Nestlé China and CaiNiao announced the launch of “Future Green Package Strategic Cooperation”. During this year’s Double 11, the community activity of “Happy Shopping, Green Life, One Parcel box for a Bag of Food” was launched to encourage consumers to participate in the sustainable packaging action.

    Results/Outputs/Impacts

    Measurable Impacts: • Between 2017 and 2020, we have totally saved around 10,000 tons packaging materials. • Our overall plastic packaging recycling rate has increased significantly. Some highlights in recent years: o Eliminated 180 tons of non-recyclable PS/PVC materials from our packaging. o Ice cream paper lid: Converting nearly 200 tons of non-recyclable paper lid with PP laminate into recyclable coated paper material. o Dairy pouch: Changed around 180 tons of non-recyclable PET/VMPET/PE structure to recyclable BOPP/PE/MOPP/PE structure. o Paper carton and gift box of coffee, confectionery and chicken bouillon products: Switching more than 2700 tons of non-recyclable packaging with BOPP film with newly developed one varnish. • Plastic Neutrality: In 2020, we have neutralized more than 9000 tons of PET and more than 1000 tons of flexible packaging. • Nestlé’s China organized employee volunteering cleanup activities 8 times across 2019. More than 500 volunteers in total participated. The total weight of waste collection was more than 2000kgs. • Nestlé joined hands with Pickup China to launch a voluntary cleanup campaign for celebrating the World Cleanup Day of 2020 (September 19th). 3,178 people participated in the campaign and collected 191,872 pieces of wastes. • Nestlé provided financial support for Rendu Ocean on coastal cleanup activities in year 2020. • Nestlé initiated a project on the elimination of Single-Use Plastic (SUP) items across all our sites (more than 700) in Greater China Region in 2019. • We have launched the plastic training course on mobile phone so all our employees (around 40000) in Greater China Region can easily learn plastics related knowledge. Non-measurable Impacts: • Reduced plastic pollution through systematic approach from packaging material innovation to Close-Loop packaging waste management system establishment and behavior change. • Advancement of sustainable packaging innovation. • Enhancement of employees’ environmental awareness and knowledge through training. • Fostering behavior change through cleanup activities and SUP elimination project. Employees are happy to be ambassador to tackle plastic waste. • Enhancement of company image through our commitment and actions. • Nestlé sustainable packaging is recognized by society: o Nestlé sustainable packaging project has won the 2020 EU Chamber of Commerce CSR Award o Nestlé Sustainable Packaging project has won the honorary award of 2020 “Golden Key – China Action for SDG” by China Sustainability Tribune o Nestlé Family Milk Powder has won the first “Golden Apple Award” for Recyclability Design by China Plastic Reuse and Recycling Association (CPRRA) of China Synthetic Resin Association (CSRA) in 2020. o Nestlé Sustainable Development Plan (including sustainable packaging) has won the “Sustainable Development Model Enterprise Award” by China Business Journal in 2020 o Nestlé Sustainable Packaging project has won the “Corporate Best Practices for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals 2019” by the Global Compact Network China. o Nesvita easy-recycling plastic packaging has won the ChinaReplas 2019 Recyclable Plastic Design Award by China Plastic Reuse and Recycling Association (CPRRA) of China Synthetic Resin Association (CSRA).

    Enabling factors and constraints

    The first key enabling condition is that Nestle itself is firmly committed to sustainable packaging and defined a clear three-pillar approach to deliver its commitments. The issue of plastic waste in the environment is one of the most pressing global challenges the world faces today. As the world’s leading food and beverages company Nestlé has stepped up to meet this challenge. Our vision is to ensure that none of our packaging (including plastics) ends up in landfill or as litter. We have publicly committed in April 2018 that by 2025, 100% of our packaging will be recyclable or reusable, and we will reduce our use of virgin plastics by one third. Tackling this challenge requires a wide range of actions. We have therefore organized our actions around three pillars: developing packaging for the future, helping to shape a waste-free future, and driving new behavior and understanding. Because of these commitments, Nestle put sufficient financial and human resources in leading the way of sustainable packaging, in particular plastics. The second key enabling condition is the advancement from the government. China unveiled a wide-ranging guideline “ (‘ Opinion on further strengthening plastic pollution management’) “ to phase out SUP and non-degradable plastic products in major consuming sectors on Jan. 19th, 2020, vowing to effectively curb plastic pollution in major cities in five years. This paves the way on sustainable packaging which facilitates enterprises to accelerate their journey. Another important enabling condition is collaboration and partnership. We believe that it is only through collaboration and partnership with all relevant stakeholders that we can effectively address the plastic waste challenge, achieve our goals and meet our commitment to sustainable packaging. Through stakeholder mapping, we have identified multiple stakeholders and prioritize the engagement with the selected associations, NGOs, recyclers and academia. Constraints is mainly about the use of food grade rPET as food contact materials such as beverage containers because it is not allowed in China. As it is the best way of saving the virgin plastic material and reduce carbon emission, Nestle is doing its best to collaborate with various stakeholders along the value chain to advocate for the permission to use it. Innovations derived from our initiative are as follows: • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastics: Nestlé introduced a “Negative List” of these materials that we will stop using and a timetable to phase out their use across all our packaging, such as eliminated PVDC coating on plastics, paper and paperboard. • Simplify the packaging materials that we use: one highlight is that we replaced the un-recyclable flexible laminate packaging (PET/Al/PE) for our Nescafé product by recyclable mono-PP materials. • Explore bio-based plastics: we have successfully replaced 30% of the traditional plastic milk powder caps with bio-based material to reduce the usage of petroleum-based plastics. • Develop plastic-free paper packaging to replace plastic-coated paper packaging: we developed one varnish to replace paperboard boxes and gift boxes using BOPP film.

    Sustainability and replicability

    As mentioned in earlier question, Nestle is committed to leading the way of sustainable packaging. We have committed to make 100% of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. We invested sufficient human and financial resources to meet our commitments. Through the innovations as listed in earlier question, we have accumulated experiences and expertise on innovated recyclable materials. In the years to come, we have made clear roadmap to replacing all non-recyclable materials to recyclable materials. It is not only for China market, but also for the whole Group worldwide. Therefore, the sustainability and replicability is well assured within Nestle world. We established collaboration with Associations. Because associations represent specific groups of stakeholders in a professional way and act as bridge with government authorities, we actively participate in initiatives and projects of selected associations in order to jointly drive sustainable packaging agenda and to ensure the voice of the sector be heard by government authorities. For example, we joined CPRRA (China Plastic Reuse and Recycle Association) taskforces on plastic packaging recyclable design standard which can replicate the good practice of Nestle and other companies to a broader communities. Nestlé is pleased to support and join forces with relevant NGOs to implement innovative actions and solutions. The key NGOs we are engaging are: • CGF (The Consumer Good Forum): Participating in its sustainability related COAs (Coalition of Actions) such as Plastic Wastes and Food Loss and Wastes. • Rendu Ocean: Partnership on coastal cleanup. • Pickup China: Partnership on World Cleanup Day campaign These initiatives created good influence in FMCG industry and in the communities. More and more stakeholders start joining these initiatives. Nestlé partners with recyclers on plastic neutrality. • We have started collaboration with Luhai Company on PET neutrality. The collected PET packaging is recycled to textile materials which are further converted to T-shirts, shoes and bags, etc. • We identified OurSun Company as the recycler for flexible packaging neutrality. The packaging is recycled to fuel oil through pyrolysis technology. • We are engaging with recyclers which potentially can produce food grade rPET in future for us to deliver our commitment on reducing virgin plastic usage. All in all, through collaborations and partnerships, we well promoted our good practices to ensure they are sustainable and replication in external world.

    Other sources of information

    We don’t have so many English version materials. Below are Chinese version news releases on our website to just give you a favor of our communications and promotions of our sustainable packaging initiatives. • Nestle accelerates sustainable packaging transformation https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20200911-nestle-sustainab… • Nestle pushes forward food grade recycled plastic packaging market and launches startup fund for packaging innovation https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20200117-nestle-market-fo… • Nestle accelerates actions to tackle plastic waste http://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20190117-nestle-accelerate… • Nestle unmanned recycling vehicle in Chaoyang Park https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20200713-nestle-unmanned-… • Nestle joins forces with Rendu Ocean on clean ocean initiative to celebrate the World Ocean Day https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20200601-nestle-on-wod-20… • Tsinghua x-lab and Nestle partnership on packaging innovation challenge successfully ended https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20200113-tsinghua-x-lab-n… • Nestle GCR volunteering pickup in Dongguan to celebrate the International Volunteers Day https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20191205-volunteering-the… • Nestle packaging designed awarded by CPRRA https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20191111-chinareplas-2019… • Smart Tin Big Future https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20190827-nestle-infant-nu… • Nestle and TEDA jointly organized volunteering cleanup activity https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20190805-nestle-volunteer… • Nestle and Tsinghua x-lab jointly launched innovation challenge for packaging sustainability http://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20190701-nestle-and-tsingh… • Nestle organized employee volunteering pickup activity in Shanghai https://www.nestle.com.cn/media/pressreleases/20190616-nestle-volunteer…

    COVID-19 Impact

    COVID-19 did have impact to our sustainable packaging initiatives. In terms of Pillar 1: Develop packaging for the future. Many of our suppliers had to stop production during the COVID-19 periods. The business trips originally planned for testing the innovative packaging materials in the suppliers facilities and our own factories had to be stopped. Therefore, some of our new packaging materials were not launched as planned. With the recovery of the situation, things get much better and we are accelerating the progress and try our best to catch up our original plan. In terms of Pillar 2: Help shape a waste free future. Our key target for 2020 was to neutralize 10,000 tons of PET and 1000 tons of flexible packaging. Due to Covid-19, many workers of the two recyclers, Luhai and OurSun, could not be back to company to assume normal work. Therefore, in the first couple of months in 2020, our neutralization initiative was significantly impacted. After evaluating the situation we reset our target of PET to 8000 tons. With the efforts of both Nestle and Luhai, we finally achieved neutrality of 9050 tons of PET and 1020 tons of flexible packaging. Another initiative seriously affected by COVID-19 is employee volunteering cleanup of Pillar 3. We planned quite a few big scale initiative and finally we did not conduct majority of them with the only exemption of the World Cleanup Day activity, which we designed a program without big scale gathering. Rather, we encouraged both employees and public to pick up rubbish around their vicinity and upload their photos to the app we specially designed for this program. We made a financial support schedule with this initiative, i.e. we offered RMB2 for each piece of rubbish picked up to the organizing NGO Pickup China with a limit of RMB100k, to support their development and scale up the future cleanup initiatives.

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    Timeline
    01 January 2020 (start date)
    01 January 2025 (date of completion)
    Entity
    Nestle (China) Ltd.
    Ongoing
    No
    SDGs
    Other beneficiaries

    We believe that it is only through collaboration and partnership with all relevant stakeholders that we can effectively address the plastic waste challenge, achieve our goals and meet our commitment to sustainable packaging. Through stakeholder mapping, we have identified multiple stakeholders and prioritize the engagement with the following: • Associations: Because associations represent specific groups of stakeholders in a professional way and act as bridge with government authorities, we actively participate in initiatives and projects of selected associations in order to jointly drive sustainable packaging agenda and to ensure the voice of the sector be heard by government authorities. The key associations we are engaging are: o China Packaging Federation: For the innovation of sustainable packaging materials o CBIA (China Beverage Industry Association): Participating in the PET collection rate survey project o CPRRA (China Plastic Reuse and Recycle Association): Joining the taskforces on plastic packaging recyclable design standard. • NGOs: Nestlé is pleased to support and join forces with relevant NGOs to implement innovative actions and solutions. The key NGOs we are engaging are: o CGF (The Consumer Good Forum): Participating in its sustainability related COAs (Coalition of Actions) such as Plastic Wastes and Food Loss and Wastes. o Rendu Ocean: Partnership on coastal cleanup. o Pickup China: Partnership on World Cleanup Day campaign • Recyclers: Nestlé partners with recyclers on plastic neutrality. o We have started collaboration with Luhai Company on PET neutrality. The collected PET packaging is recycled to textile materials which are further converted to T-shirts, shoes and bags, etc. o We identified OurSun Company as the recycler for flexible packaging neutrality. The packaging is recycled to fuel oil through pyrolysis technology. o We are engaging with recyclers which potentially can produce food grade rPET in future for us to deliver our commitment on reducing virgin plastic usage. • Universities: Nestlé actively engage with universities for the development of innovative sustainable packaging material and business solutions. Through an open innovation challenge in collaboration with Tsinghua x-lab, Nestlé invited students and faculty members to identify new packaging solutions for four areas: recyclable or reusable, e-commerce, gifting, as well as consumer education and engagement. The stakeholders we engage are very relevant to our three-pillar strategy. They can help us either on a specific pillar or all the pillars.

    More information
    Countries
    China
    China
    Contact Information

    Qi, Head of Sustainability GCR