Nestle Waters North America hopes to nearly quadruple its use of food-grade recycled plastic (rPET) by 2021, to achieve 25% recycled plastic across its US domestic portfolio. The company expects to continue expanding its use of recycled materials to reach 50% recycled plastic by 2025.
Nestle Waters says it is working with its suppliers, particularly key supplier Plastrec, to help it reach its goals. This follows last month’s announcement that Nestle Waters had expanded its partnership with rPET supplier CarbonLITE, which is building a third facility in Pennsylvania.
Fernando Mercé, president and CEO of Nestle Waters NA, says the company is helping to “stimulate a more robust recycling market and unlock the potential of a circular economy” in the US. In addition to its commitments to increase the amount of rPET it uses, Nestle Waters also invested $6 million in the Closed Loop Fund in 2017. In municipalities such as Waterbury, Connecticut, the investment fund is supporting enhanced recycling programs with a goal of increasing the current city recycling rate from 6% to 25% by 2020. Just recently, Closed Loop Fund announced a $1.5 million investment in rPlanet Earth, the world’s first completely vertically integrated manufacturer of post-consumer rPET.
In its 2016 report, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that most plastic packaging is used only once, and that 95% of the value of plastic packaging material is lost – an $80 to $120 billion loss to the economy. Nestle Waters says by treating plastic as a resource rather than a waste product, the company can reap the full economic and environmental benefits of plastic packaging.
Nestle recently signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to work with other companies on solutions to plastic waste.