Nestlé, a multinational food and beverage company headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland will work in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and seven consumer firms to encourage responsible development of bioplastics, derived from plant material. Along with Nestlé, the Bioplastics Feedstock Alliance (BFA) will include key fast-moving consumer goods firms Coca-Cola, Danone, Ford, H J Heinz, Nike, P&G and Unilever.
As consumers across the world seek sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based products, the alliance will aim to guide responsible selection and harvesting of agricultural material such as sugarcane, corn, bulrush, and switchgrass to make bioplastics.
“Joining the alliance means we will be able to help build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry whilst addressing issues such as land use, food security and biodiversity,” said Nestlé’s global Research and Development Sustainability Manager, Anne Roulin.
BFA intends to bring together leading experts from industry, academia and civil society to develop and support informed science, collaboration, education, and innovation to help guide the evaluation and sustainable development of material that can be made into bioplastics.
‘Critical for conservation’
“Ensuring that our crops are used responsibly to create bioplastics is a critical conservation goal, especially as the global population is expected to grow rapidly through 2050,” said Erin Simon, WWF.
Already bioplastics, made from sugarcane and other plant-based material, are used in Nestlé’s product portfolio. Since early 2012, for example, several sizes of VITTEL bottled water have been packaged in an innovative PET bottle made from 30% plant-based material.
Nestlé is particularly interested in second generation bioplastics, made, for example, from byproducts of forestry, agriculture or the food chain, such as molasses or cane residue or non-food sources such as algae, cellulose and waste products.