Major food companies sign European Plastics Pack

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Nestlé, Unilever and FrieslandCampina are among the major food companies that have reinforced their sustainability commitments by signing the European Plastics Pact.

Initiated by France and the Netherlands, the pact focuses on accelerating the transition towards a circular plastics economy and severing the sole dependence on virgin plastics.

It brings together leading companies, NGOs and governments, who are committing to realise common goals by 2025 and go beyond the current legislation.

Signatories of the pact commit to reducing virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%; raising collection and recycling capacity in Europe for plastic packaging by at least 25% and boosting the use of recycled plastics in packaging to an average of at least 30%.

Nestle UK and Ireland have been a founding member of the world’s first plastic pact since its launch by WRAP in 2018. It was one of 42 UK businesses to sign up with the aim of transforming the plastic packaging system in the UK.

“One of our joint objectives is to create a circular economy by improving collection, sorting and recycling schemes across Europe,” said Marco Settembri, Nestlé CEO for Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

He added: “We want to make sure that also other packaging, such as our wrappers and pouches, can be recycled into new food packaging.”

Hein Schumacher, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina, said: “If we really want to be effective in making measurable sustainable impact, we have to work together, for the long-term. We call that cooperative sustainability. And that’s the approach that’s also needed for plastic packaging.

“The plastic value chain is international, with large, multi-national producers and suppliers. A unified European approach, working together across borders and categories can help to scale and speed up. That is different than the national pacts that are already in place. Therefore, we support both national and international pacts.”