Nestlé has created the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, which aims to accelerate the development of functional, safe and environmentally- friendly packaging solutions.
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the institute will include a state-of-the-art laboratory complex and facilities for rapid prototyping, and will employ around 50 people.
The institute will collaborate with Nestlé global R&D network, academic partners, suppliers and start-ups, to evaluate the safety and functionality of various sustainable packaging materials.
Research focus areas will include recyclable, biodegradable or compostable polymers, functional paper, and new packaging concepts and technologies which increase the recyclability of plastic packaging.
Packaging solutions will then be developed and tested in various product categories before they are rolled out across Nestlé’s global portfolio.
The institute will form part of the Nestlé Research organisation, which was created by the company earlier this year. Nestlé claims that the establishment of 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 minimise our impact on the natural environment while safely delivering to our consumers healthier and tastier products.”
Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Palzer added: “Packaging plays a crucial role in helping us deliver safe and nutritious products to our consumers. The new Institute of Packaging Sciences will enable us to accelerate the redesign of our packaging solutions.
“Cutting-edge science, as well as a close collaboration with globally leading academic institutions and industrial partners, will deliver a pipeline of highly performing environmentally friendly packaging solutions.”
Nestlé has made a number of sustainable packaging commitments over the course of the year, including a pledge to increase the amount of recycled plastic it uses in food and drink packaging throughout the European Union by 2025.
The company was also among the 57 organisations which initially signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, which aims to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.