Tackling plastic pollution and managing waste
Improving the environmental performance of our packaging and reducing food loss and waste
With plastic waste continuing to accumulate in landfills and in our oceans, endangering wildlife, tackling plastic pollution has never been so pressing. It is an urgent priority for us and a responsibility we take seriously. We are accelerating our actions to tackle the plastic waste problem and are committed to making a significant difference. We are making progress but there is much more to come. Our vision is that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter, including in oceans, lakes or rivers. We are working hard to deliver on it and help to achieve a waste-free future.
Our initiatives to tackle plastic and other waste:
Reducing our plastic use & making our packaging recyclable
Our RTD beverages are the first in Sri Lanka to offer consumers the more sustainable alternative of paper straws, starting with MILO. We will eliminate 90 million plastics straws from the environment with this move.
Over 80% of our packaging by weight is recyclable. We will make this 100% by 2025. Making MILO 100% recyclable with paper straws is a key part of delivering this commitment.
We aim to also reduce our virgin plastic packaging by 1/3 across our portfolio by 2025.
We have stopped using plastic in our promotional items from April 2020. This will help us eliminate approximately 250 MT of plastic a year.
Establishing waste collection & recycling schemes
We have collaborated with the CEA and Ministry of Education for a waste management programme in schools, where we collect waste and teach about responsible disposal. It will reach 250 schools in 2021.
We have helped processing and packaging solutions company Tetra Pak, establish Sri Lanka’s first recycling facility for aseptic beverage cartons. It is currently in a trial phase and will be fully operational shortly. This facility will benefit the entire aseptic beverage carton industry in Sri Lanka, including Milo Ready-to-Drink.
We will support our waste management projects by conducting public awareness and educational campaigns on responsible disposal
The Nestlé family is full of people who are passionate about building a better, more sustainable world for everyone.
In celebration of World Oceans Day in 2019, employees from our head office and Kurunegala factory volunteered to clean the Mattakkuliya and Marawila beaches. They were joined by students from the University of Kelaniya, whom we partner for our Nestlé Needs YOUth programme. Our annual voluntary employee beach-cleaning event has become something of a tradition now for Nestlé and our partners.
Employee beach cleanup at Marawila beach
In 2018, 30 volunteers from multiple divisions from the head office joined hands with 30 students from the University of Kelaniya, to organise a self-funded beach cleaning campaign in the Crows Island beach park in Mattakkuliya.
Employee beach cleanup at a 400m beach stretch in Negombo
In 2017, a similar campaign was executed by our Finance & Control teams from the head office and factory in collaboration with the Colombo, Jayewardenepura and Kelaniya University students where a 400m beach stretch in Negombo was cleaned. Each time we conduct a beach-cleaning exercise, we weigh and record the waste we have collected (by material) before handing it over to the local municipal council for responsible disposal. We then complete the project by placing garbage bins made using factory owned malt barrels and placards displaying information to encourage people to keep the beach clean.
In 2020, we could not conduct our usual employee voluntarism activities on World Environment Day or World Oceans Day due to the restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19. We therefore held a virtual competition that required employees and their families to share something positive they had done for nature at home, such as planting a seed, growing organic produce, saving water etc.
Zero waste for disposal factory
Our factory, located in Kurunegala, has achieved zero waste for disposal, which means that nothing goes to landfill or is incinerated without energy being recovered from the process. The decision to achieve zero waste for disposal illustrates Nestlé’s commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices. By relentlessly eliminating all sources of waste, and/or by recycling or recovering energy from unavoidable residues, we are proud to have saved waste from going to landfill or being incinerated without energy being recovered from the process.
We organise the management of our solid waste by quantifying and weighing our waste and introducing more effective ways of disposing it. Through this system, we have been able to monitor the exact quantities of solid waste generated and have been able to take measures to reduce them. We have also initiated the segregation and disposal of hazardous wastes and E-waste with the assistance of approved contractors.