In a global and Australian first, Nestlé is rolling out the first commercial scale recycled content soft plastic wrapper in Australia, with 45g KitKat bars to be packaged in 30% recycled content wrappers supplied by Huhtamaki.

The shift to new packaging is in line with Nestlé's mission to cut its virgin plastics use by a third by 2025. More than 40 million 45g KitKat bars will be packed in the 30% recycled content wrapper in the next year in Australia, cutting virgin plastic use by around 250,000m2.

Introducing this wrapper is a big step forward, given the scarcity of food-grade soft plastic with recycled content. With no local source of the recycled content material for this wrapper yet, Nestlé has turned to global sources. 

Breakthrough: The wrapper is also Nestlé’s first soft plastic food wrapper globally to use recycled content.
Breakthrough: The wrapper is also Nestlé’s first soft plastic food wrapper globally to use recycled content.

Nestlé Oceania general manager Chris O’Donnell said Nestle had been   “searching high and low” to find as much of this material as it could from suppliers. He said as more becomes available Nestlé is hoping to increase the amount it can source for its packaging.

O’Donnell said, “Introducing recycled content in our packaging will make a significant impact against our 2025 ambition. We’ve implemented a number of changes to reduce our use of virgin plastic but this switch, the first of its kind, will be a huge step change.

“We know consumers want our packaging to use more recycled content, so we’re delighted to deliver the KitKat 45g bar as Australia’s first food product to be wrapped in soft plastic made with recycled content.

“For KitKat fans, the news is all good. The 30% recycled plastic wrapper will keep KitKat bars crisp, fresh and delicious, while we focus on giving the planet a break. When they’re finished, they can continue to recycle their wrappers through the REDcycle scheme.”

O'Donnell said the company is focusing on less packaging, better packaging and better systems.

“This is a big step in the right direction but we’re not at our end destination yet. This is a journey of ongoing innovation,” he said.

Globally, Nestlé has committed to invest CHF 2 billion to stimulate the market and lead the shift from virgin plastics to food grade recycled plastics.

The 30% food grade recycled plastic wrapper is supplied by Huhtamaki. The recycled content has been allocated using the mass balance approach and certified by ISCC. 

Nestlé Oceania CEO Sandra Martinez described the announcement as "the most exciting progress to date", noting that the KitKat wrapper has been a leader in packaging innovation in Australia.

In 2020, the company changed its logo to promote soft plastics recycling, then in 2021, it created a KitKat prototype wrapper with recycled content created from soft plastics collected and processed in Australia.

"Today’s announcement cements another Australian first. I’m so proud of the vision of my team and their passion to make a difference. There’s still more to do. So while we’re helping to give the planet a break – we’re not taking a break!," Martinez said.

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