Nestlé sponsors research in bioplastics

June 26, 2009

Nestlé is teaming up with diverse industrial partners to sponsor research in bioplastics at the Ecole des Mines in Paris. As part of its commitment to Sustainable Development and Creating Shared Value, Nestlé is co-funding a Chair in Bioplastics at Ecole des Mines de Paris, which includes six Ph.D. theses. This research program will study the properties of polymers derived from renewable resources, as well as their industrial application. Other industrial partners that are funding this Chair are Schneider Electric, PSA, Arkema, and l’Oreal. In addition to a financial contribution of €60,000 per year for five years, Nestlé will also bring its long experience in bioplastics and strong knowledge of packaging to this partnership.

Nestlé and bioplastics: Nestlé is committed to continuously reducing the environmental impact of its products. Packaging materials derived from renewable resources like bioplastics are one way to reach this goal. Unlike petrochemical-based plastics that are derived from fossil fuels, the majority of bioplastics are made from renewable sources—plants, algae, or other biomass. This new research program complements Nestlé’s existing partnerships with material suppliers. Nestlé has already introduced bioplastic materials in selected products for a number of years. For example, Nestlé worked with the Indian Packaging supplier UFlex to introduce a PET film, in which 30% of the content is derived from molasses, a by-product of sugar. This is used in flexible sachets and pouches in India and some other countries in Asia in applications such as Maggi noodles, soups and sauces, and Kit Kat.