Swiss food and beverage firm Nestlé has created a new research institute to accelerate the redesign of its packaging solutions.


Image: Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider. Photo: courtesy of Nestlé.

Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences will focus on the discovery and development of functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

The institute will include a laboratory complex and facilities for rapid prototyping, and will employ around 50 people.

The institute will partner with Nestlé global R&D network, academic partners, suppliers and start-ups, to assess the safety and functionality of several sustainable packaging materials.

Recyclable, biodegradable or compostable polymers, functional paper will be the research focus areas. It will also work on new packaging concepts and technologies which increase the recyclability of plastic packaging.

Packaging solutions will then be developed and tested in several product categories prior to their roll out across Nestlé’s worldwide portfolio.

The institute will form part of the Nestlé Research organisation, which the company created earlier in 2018. Nestlé claims that the institute will help it achieve its commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said: “We want to be a leader in developing the most sustainable packaging solutions for our food and beverage products. To achieve this, we are enhancing our research capabilities to develop new packaging materials and solutions.

“Through this, we hope to address the growing packaging waste problem, in particular plastics. We aim to minimize our impact on the natural environment while safely delivering to our consumers healthier and tastier products.”

Nestle works to optimize its packaging to minimize resource use; use more materials from sustainably managed renewable resources.

The company supports initiatives to recycle or recover energy from used packaging; and uses recycled materials wherever there is a clear environmental benefit.

The company, which employs about 5,000 people, has an existing target to reduce the amount of packaging it uses by 140,000 tons by 2020 (on a 2015 baseline).