AMSTERDAM — Swiss giant Nestlé SA reduced the weight of its packaging by 601,147 tons over the 1991-2010 period. Out of this total saving, 34 percent was plastics and laminates.
Philippe Roulet, head of global packaging materials and training, said the use of plastics and laminates has gone down partly because of changes to water bottles. He was speaking at the Renewable Plastics conference in Amsterdam this week.
The bottle for Ozarka, a bottled water brand sold in the US, is now made with only 9.3g of resin, he said, showing a slide which demonstrated that bottles for carbonated drinks were sometimes made with more than 20g of materials.
He said Nestlé has a holistic approach. To achieve this, it uses the packaging eco-design tool PIQET (Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool). PIQET looks at all areas of the supply chain, comparing the environmental impact of all areas of production.
Many bio-materials look great on paper but have limited applications. For example, PLA is a poor moisture barrier and PE made from sugar cane has a limited availability.
But he stressed that Nestlé is a “material neutral” company.
However, the company has had several successes in the bioplastics area, including bio HDPE bottle caps in Brazil. And in Europe, the company is making bottles for its very successful Vittel brand using 30 percent plant matter.