„Raw Materials not Packaging are Responsible for Most of the Ecological Footprint“

During FachPack, in front of members of the International specialized press, Dr. Christian Detrois, Corporate Packaging Manager at Nestlé Germany talked about ecodesign and eco-friendly packaging.

A few days ago, the world’s biggest food giant Nestlé has announced that by 2025 it will have lowered its CO2 emissions to zero. Thusly, the company aligns itself with the goal of the Paris Accords to limit the rise in temperature to 1,5 °C. Before the UN Climate Change Summit, Nestlé joined the initiative “Business Ambition for 1,5 °C”.

Nestlé has already been working on green-house gas reduction for a decade and is now stepping up its game. Nestlé is bound and determined to contribute a crucial part to fighting climate change, explained Dr. Christian Detrois, Corporate Packaging Dr. Christian Detrois, Corporate Packaging Manager at Nestlé Germany on September 25th 2019 during the FachPack in front of national and international members of the press. On the issue of packaging, Detrois made a statement that was soothing to the packaging sector: Not packaging, but the product itself is responsible for most of the ecological footprint.

Packaging is responsible for 9 percent of the carbon dioxide footprint, raw materials for 55 percent. There was little Nestlé can do. One could look, where the sugar comes from and whether transport routes will become shorter but in the end an emission would remain. Even though Nestlé was reducing packaging material and pursuing concrete sustainable goals, this aspect should not be overlooked, he said.  “Everything has a footprint. The ambition is to make sure that all things that we do, does not leave emissions. This is the biggest challenge.”

Yearly, 160.000 metric tons of packaging worldwide comes from Nestlé, more and more of them reusable bottles and packaging. By 2015 100 percent of packaging are supposed to be designed to be recyclable or reusable, the usage of recycled material is meant to be augmented and an infrastructure suitable for recycling will be developed in collaboration with some involved in the supply chain. He was especially proud that Nestlé Germany was a front-runner in the implementation of shrink-wrap with a recyclate percentage of 50 percent. At the FachPack he had seen that there were now for the first time foils made from renewable resources, which are CO2-neutral. This is a good step. Design-4-Recycling also a good path in the right direction.