Nestlé’s much-loved Milo brand announced that it has switched to paper straws for its popular Ready-to-Drink (RTD) variant. This makes it the first RTD beverage in Sri Lanka to offer consumers the more sustainable alternative of paper straws. The landmark move will enable the company to eliminate 90 million plastic straws a year, and makes the all-new Milo packaging 100% recyclable. This initiative is one of the many actions Nestlé is taking to reduce the impact of its packaging.
In addition, a facility for recycling aseptic beverage cartons has been set up, supported by processing and packaging solutions company Tetra Pak and F&B industry leaders such as Nestlé. The plant will recycle Milo RTD and will benefit the entire aseptic beverage carton industry in Sri Lanka. Nestlé will leverage its existing schools waste management programme, which it conducts together with the Ministry of Education, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) and relevant Municipal Councils, to raise awareness about responsible disposal and collect used Milo RTD packs for recycling. It will reach 250 schools by end-2021. The company is developing more collection and recycling schemes for plastic packaging waste.
“Effective waste management is one of the biggest issues the country is facing right now. I’m delighted to see Nestlé voluntarily pioneering the first paper straws for the category, and providing Sri Lankans more sustainable products to enjoy. We hope to see more companies supporting the government’s vision for a cleaner and greener Sri Lanka, to ensure the wellbeing of the country and its people” said Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment.
“Nestlé is committed to stepping up to the challenge of tackling plastic waste and accelerating our sustainability journey. This is the first of many major sustainability initiatives we have planned over the next few years. We plan to achieve plastic neutrality by 2022 and make the rest of our product packaging 100% recyclable by 2025. We’re proud to implement key actions that will have a positive impact on Sri Lanka’s future, and are committed to making products that are not only good for our consumers but also good for our planet” said Fabrice Cavallin, Nestlé Lanka Managing Director.
To support the packaging change, the company will launch wide-scale consumer awareness campaigns to inspire behavioural change and promote responsible disposal.
“Milo has been committed to nourishing the ambitions of Sri Lankans for over 40 years. We’ve enhanced local farmers’ livelihoods by sourcing fresh milk, nurtured sports and talented athletes in the country, and are now proud to take bold initiatives in sustainability. We look forward to playing our part to protect our planet” said Mohamed Ali, Category Marketing Manager for Milo at Nestlé Lanka.
The company’s other RTD products such as Nespray and Nescafé will also adopt the sustainably sourced paper straws and become 100% recyclable within the year.