In the UK, the Smarties Sharing Block was launched in a recyclable paper wrapper in June 2020. Now other products in the range have followed suit: Smarties is the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging.
The move will help in achieving Nestlé’s commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
So how was the mammoth task achieved? And what does it mean for the future of sustainability in packaging?
All involved were mindful of the fact that they were making changes to an iconic brand steeped in nostalgia – consumer satisfaction was key. So, Nestlé packaging experts at the R&D Center in York and the Institute of Packaging Sciences in Lausanne, worked closely with marketing and commercial strategy teams to ensure all innovation was consumer friendly. Supply chain, technical teams and operations all helped in making sure that ideas became practical and an achievable reality.
Paper is a desirable product because it is recyclable but it does not have the same functional properties as plastic. Paper is more fragile and it is not moisture or oxygen proof. Thus to make paper packaging work requires the pioneering of new materials, with a view to ensuring product safety, quality, and recyclability.
The development of the new packaging materials has been finalised and the new paper packaging will be rolled out globally across the Smarties brand.