Over the last few weeks, Greenpeace and our allies in the Break Free From Plastic movement have ramped up our global campaign targeting Nestlé for its massive role in the plastic pollution crisis. Why Nestlé? Geeze, where to start?
Nestlé is the world’s biggest food and beverage company, and one of the biggest fast moving consumer goods companies. Most of its products come in single-use plastic packaging like wrappers, bottles, and sachets. While product ranges vary somewhat from country to country, Nestlé brands are very well-known and are sold in grocery stores, convenience stores and really any place where you can buy water or a chocolate bar the world over.
Nestlé is everywhere, and now so is its branded plastic trash. The company used 1.7 million tonnes of plastic packaging in 2018, up 13% from the previous year. The company notes that its products (and their plastic exterior) reach over a billion customers each day…..and flow into markets, waste streams and the environment each day.
Shoreline cleanups and brand audits in 42 countries revealed that this packaging is not only some of the most commonly found, but Nestlé was consistently among the top three polluters. In Canada, Nestlé was found to be the top plastic polluter, a title not to be proud of with the country’s stiff pollution competition with the likes of Tim Hortons.
What does Nestlé have to say for itself? Sadly not enough of substance. The company released yet another statement following our visit to their AGM in Switzerland in early April. You can check out their statement and our break down of where it falls short, here. The general take-home message is that the company could be a real leader and commit to cut its single-use plastic production and invest in other product delivery methods focused on refill and reuse, but so far it has not.
On April 16th, as part of a global day of action with our allies in the Break Free From Plastic movement, Greenpeace Switzerland activists delivered a 20 meters long “plastic monster” (since that is exactly what Nestlé has created) containing Nestlé branded plastic packaging to the company’s headquarters in Vevey. Once again we are calling on the corporation to end its reliance on single-use plastic.
Activists also visited Nestlé offices and engaged with the public in the Philippines, Germany, Kenya, Slovenia, its sub-brand San Pellegrino in Italy, and in Canada in Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg.
In Canada, over 30K people have already called on Nestlé and the other top polluters to ditch single-use plastics.
This week we sent the CEO of Nestlé Canada the names of these thousands of people, along with printed photos of the company’s plastic packaging polluting our communities and the environment in Canada and around the world. As the top polluter in Canada, the time to act was yesterday, and we will continue to share this message with the company until it is heard loud and clear.
Add your name and share our petition far and wide, to help grow the movement of over 3 million people across the globe who have said enough is enough to our throwaway culture and bring on our plastic-free future!