As part of global efforts to make 100 per cdent of packaging either recyclable or reusable by the year 2025, Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago Limited has ceased production using plastic straws, and transitioned to the use of sustainably sourced paper straws across its entire range of ready-to-drink juice and dairy products.
The announcement was made at the company’s headquarters in Valsayn by Patricio Torres, Nestlé Head of Market for the Anglo Dutch Caribbean Region (ADC).
Speaking at an internal virtual launch held for employees, Torres said: “I would like to thank our entire team who has been working on this milestone for more than a year, that allows us to eliminate approximately 45 million plastic straws from the environment annually.
“This was not an easy job, especially given the challenges faced in 2020 within the context of COVID-19. As a team, we kept our commitment to deliver the best product not just for consumers, but for our planet. This is very close to our hearts, and our purpose as a company.”
Elisa Doldron, Business Executive Officer for Dairy, Juices and RTD Beverages at Nestlé ADC made it clear that this is only the first step, sharing that the company’s paper straw innovation represents an 89 per cent reduction in plastic used in traditional plastic straws at the Valsayn factory. The transition to a paper straw wrap—which encases the paper straw on pack—is already well underway in the design and testing phases.
Doldron said: “Our paper straw and recycling initiative is being led by our iconic local brand Nestlé Orchard®, who is committed to ensuring packaging is recycled. This means ensuring our packaging is designed for recycling, investing and collaborating with partners to ensure the closed loop infrastructure needed for recycling is in place, and informing consumers on how to recycle and where to recycle, which all form part of our sustainable packaging commitment.”
The paper straws are designed for recycling within the beverage container and should be pushed back into the pack and placed in beverage container recycling bins. The paper straws are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensuring that the straws come from responsibly managed forests, and maintain the U-shaped bend of the previous plastic straw.
Process and Packaging Specialist at Nestlé ADC, Conrad Chang, said: “Our global team knew upfront it was going to be a challenge to deliver the same functionality that a plastic straw delivered. We had to ensure that the paper straw would not unravel and would maintain rigidity and stability for hours, while at the same time, we wanted to maintain the same U-shaped bend that our previous plastic straws used, giving enough straw length both inside and outside of the pack.
“Luckily our suppliers were up to the challenge. Being able to deliver these elements in a straw made of paper is nothing short of massive innovation and a huge engineering feat, that we are extremely happy to be able to provide to consumers on our products today.”
Consumers can look out for the rollout of Nestlé’s new paper straws in supermarkets and shops nationwide on a phased basis, over the course of the next few weeks.