As consumers concern over companies’ sustainable practices increase, a coalition of companies is coming together to face this through creating Australia’s first soft plastic food wrapper, made out of recycled content.
KitKat, a chocolate brand owned by Nestlé, will be the first product to be wrapped by this packaging.
The companies behind this technology include Nestlé, CurbCycle, iQ Rewnew, Licella, Viva Energy Australia, LyondellBasell, REDcycle, Taghleef Industries and Amcor. Together, they used their individual expertise to collect and process waste from soft plastic.
“To create the KitKat wrapper with 30% recycled content, the soft plastics were processed, then sent to Licella for conversion back into the oil from which they originally came. This oil was then used to produce new food grade soft plastics,” said Daniel Gallagher, CEO of iQ Renew, an Australian recycler.
The initiative began with iQ Renew and Nestle conducting trials together on kerbside soft plastics in New South Wales.
Sandra Martinez, CEO of Nestlé Australia said, “Between us, we have shown that there’s a pathway to solve the soft plastics problem. To build this at scale, across all states and territories, across hundreds of councils, is going to take a huge effort from government at all levels, from industry and from consumers.”
It is hoped that this discovery will help build a circular economy in Australia while reducing waste management.
“The Morrison Government is driving a $1 billion transformation of the waste and recycling industry, steering it toward the circular economy. Helping kick-start the circular economy is the best way to get bang for the taxpayer buck, realising both environmental and economic benefits,” said Sussan Ley, Minister for the Environment.
According to Ley, this level of collaboration is needed for Australia to transition fully to a circular economy.
On the 19 of March, Nestlé will host the event ‘The Wrap on Soft Plastics’ where leaders in the packaging value chain will come together to discuss the opportunities and hurdles soft plastic will face in the future.