MAKATI CITY, 23 March 2022 — Today, activists from Break Free From Plastic sent plastic waste back to Nestle together with letters from youth and communities to demand that the company stop greenwashing its plastic pollution. Nestle plastic sachets were shaped into an injured turtle, and hung on fishnets to show how their unabated plastic production is harming health and livelihoods. 

Protest at Nestle Headquarters in Manila. © Basilio H. Sepe / Greenpeace
Members of Greenpeace Philippines and the Break Free From Plastic movement carry signs as they deliver a sea turtle made of plastic packaging waste during a protest at the Nestlé headquarters in Makati, Philippines. The groups called on Nestlé to shift to genuine sustainable solutions and stop producing single-use plastics, which are harmful to people’s health and livelihood, and the environment.

Groups under the Break Free From Plastic movement, represented by Greenpeace Philippines, EcoWaste Coalition, Mother Earth Foundation, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and Health Care Without Harm, are calling on Nestle to move to truly sustainable packaging solutions and stop producing single use plastics.

Nestle has a commitment that by 2025, 100% of their packaging would be reusable or recyclable. But instead of massively reducing the amount of plastic waste they produce, Nestle aims to achieve this predominantly by burning plastic waste–and creating toxins that harm wildlife, people’s health and the environment in the process.[1]

“We’re here to tell Nestle to stop faking it,” said Greenpeace campaigner Jefferson Chua. “Nestle doesn’t care about people’s wellbeing–not when it persists in the sordid practice of burning the evidence of their pollution. Nestle is pretending that it’s doing good, but in reality, they haven’t stopped transferring the burden of pollution onto people, while they rake in massive profits delivered by a destructive business model. We’re calling on Nestle to do the right thing and start massively reducing their plastic production.”

Nestle has also devised a program called “plastic neutrality,” which groups state is misleading. “Plastic neutrality” is a system that offloads producer responsibilities onto others in the global south and the developing world in exchange for plastic offset credits, making it appear that companies like Nestle are achieving their targets, without any actual reduction in their plastic production.

Nestle continues to figure in waste and brand audits as one of the worst polluters. The most recent Global Brand Audit Report saw them at 4th with 4,149 plastics collected across 30 countries. The company also ranks 6th among global fast moving consumer goods companies in a recent Break Free From Plastic report on false solutions, with Nestle leading the way in terms of questionable “plastic neutrality” agreements with other companies.

The groups say that instead of plastic neutrality programs, Nestle should stop plastic waste burning and other false solutions, create tangible and publicly-verifiable milestones to achieve reduction targets, and improve their Zero Waste pilots, taking into account the context and realities of retail here in the Philippines. 

“Zero waste programs result in huge reduction of waste management costs, cleaner and greener surroundings, better public health and better livelihood for waste workers. Nestle can promote the Alternative Delivery System where consumers bring their containers in buying their everyday household and personal needs to help communities reduce their plastic waste,” Mother Earth Foundation chairperson Sonia Mendoza emphasized.

These should be done, these groups claim, in the context of the ongoing negotiations on a global plastics treaty that takes into account the entire life cycle of plastics.

“As the world moves towards an inclusive discussion on the Global Plastics Treaty, we hope that Nestle does not let themselves fall by the wayside and instead act urgently to address how they are part of the single use plastic problem, but as importantly, the climate emergency we are currently in,” added Froilan Grate of Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives.

Note to Editors:

[1] Last October 2021, an investigative report by news agency Reuters revealed how Nestle, along with other consumer goods companies, did not respond to questions about health and environmental impacts of burning plastics in cement kilns.

2021 Top plastic polluters

Break Free From Plastic report on false solutions

Nestle and False Solutions

Global Plastics Treaty

Media Contact:

Katrina Eusebio-Santillan
Digital Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
[email protected] +639992296451