As sustainability goals approach, large food and beverage companies are accelerating their investments in sustainable packaging programs. A survey conducted by market research firm GlobalData in April of this year revealed that nearly 35 percent of companies have changed their behavior in the past year to meet sustainable environmental, social and governance goals.
"As the post-epidemic era approaches, consumers are reassessing their consumption behavior and food and beverage manufacturers are aligning their products with the sustainable 4Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Remove and Recycle." Kiran Raj, head of GlobalData's Disruptive Technologies practice, noted. "Sustainability appears to have moved beyond the symbolic meaning of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to become a top priority on manufacturers' business agendas, thereby accelerating the shift to a circular economy."
Nestlé plans to pilot the Neo capsule coffee machine and corresponding capsule coffee in France and Switzerland next year, which differs from previous ones in that it is Nestlé's first paper-shell capsule with a shell that can be used for composting at home and a package that weighs 70 percent less than previous capsules.
Nestlé said that after three years of research and development, this home compostable paper-based capsule coffee can be experienced without compromising taste. Nestlé said consumer demand for compostable packaging is increasing, with an estimated 45 percent of French people now composting one or more types of bio-waste at home.
Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff said, "Pushing the boundaries of the premium coffee experience is part of Nespresso's innovation, and we are more committed than ever to offering consumers a wider range of sustainable options."
Nestlé has also invested approximately $5 million in the Italian venture capital foundation Eureka! Fund to fund research to accelerate innovative packaging solutions, improve the quality of collection and recycling processes, and increase the adoption of recycled food-grade plastics.
Coca-Cola has partnered with O-I Glass, the largest manufacturer of glass containers, to recycle glass bottle packaging in May 2022. Coca-Cola is also partnering with Graphic Packaging International to launch the first U.S. KeelClip paperboard packaging for cans in June 2022 and with Jingdong in January 2022 to support China's circular economy.
Earlier this year, PepsiCo signed an agreement with Carlsberg Group to minimize its reliance on single-use packaging. In June, PepsiCo also partnered with blockchain company Security Matters to recycle plastic.
While recycling is a step in the right direction for companies, it is not the ultimate solution for sustainability, as many recyclable plastics simply cannot be recycled and it takes considerable energy to convert these used products into new ones," said Shagun Sachdeva, program manager for disruptive technologies at GlobalData. With plastics still in circulation and recycled waste ending up in landfills, attention is turning more to green packaging materials."
"While major FMCG companies have set sustainability goals for the next five to eight years, there are still complexities in terms of scale, long-term planning, and slow market adoption that make it difficult for them to easily implement sustainability commitments. But in the long run, it will be interesting to watch how companies will make impactful changes to sustainability on a global scale."
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