Nestlé is taking a further step in the substitution of plastic with paper. Since the beginning of the year, Kitkat chocolate bars have been sold in a paper wrapper for the first time in Australia. Paperization is attracting more and more attention from multibrands. The more major brands use alternative materials in the course of reducing the use of plastics, the greater the broad impact. This is important, not least in terms of achieving the sustainability targets the company has set itself. Because here, too, mass must be achieved.
Nestlé’s new move is more than just a small pilot. In total, more than a quarter of a million Kitkat bars will be packaged and sold in paper for the test. Nestlé is talking about nearly 50 kilometers of paper packaging.
The trial has been running since January 2023 as part of an exclusive partnership with local retailer “Coles” and includes supermarkets in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Development and challenge
The new packaging was developed by Nestlé’s Confectionery Research and Development Center in York, UK. There, the paper was adapted, tested and simultaneously scaled for use on modified high-speed flow wrapping equipment.
According to Nestlé, the main challenge was to ensure a high level of barrier performance while enabling material recycling via an appropriate paper loop.
Nestlé has equipped the new packaging of each bar with a QR code. Consumers can scan the code and thus not only make their opinion known about the new paper solution, but also influence its further use and, if necessary, further development.
Reducing virgin plastic
According to Nestlé, paper is not the only avenue being explored as part of alternative packaging solutions. The company is trying to explore innovative solutions through a series of trials that can achieve its goal of reducing the use of virgin plastic by one-third by 2025.
Big brands need big impact
The fact that Paperization is increasingly being implemented on a large scale by major brands is no coincidence. Multibrands such as Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé and others are under pressure if they want to achieve the goals, they have set themselves. Small pilot projects no longer help. Volume must be achieved so that the percentage contribution to the goals is also relevant. After the US company Mars Wrigley announced that it would be packaging the majority of its chocolate bars in paper from April, Nestlé is now following suit.