Packaging plays a key role in protecting food, preventing waste and ensuring the quality and safety of products until they are consumed. Despite this important contribution to sustainable development, packaging is regularly singled out as being representative of the wasteful squandering of natural resources and generation of waste.
The vision of Nestlé is that none of the packaging (including plastics) ends up in landfill or as litter, with the ambition to target 100% of packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. In order to achieve this, the roadmap is based on three main pillars:
I. Develop packaging for the future
II. Help shape a waste-free future, founded on neutrality
III. Drive new behaviour and understanding
In the majority of packaging designs, the adhesives represent only a small part by weight. This means that the recyclability of adhesives themselves is most likely not critical. However, the chemical substances used to formulate the adhesives may be absorbed or adsorbed by the substrates and consequently represent a potential for migration when using the recycled materials.
An excellent example of how a decision by adhesive manufacturers affected the quality of recycled materials concerns the ban of ortho-phthalates in glue for corrugated board in 2007. A few years later, a strong decrease of these compounds in recycled boards was observed, contributing to less ortho-phthalates migrating from transport cases or boxes into food products.
The future for adhesives for food contact packaging in the framework of Nestlé’s vision and ambition is to have less compounds representing a safety concern, which are easier to eliminate during the recycling processes and contribute to improved recyclability.
This presentation will present various programmes of Nestlé related to its vision, ambition and roadmap for packaging, together with the safety and compliance assessment programme. Some example of adhesives used for food contact packaging will be provided to illustrate the potential contribution to recyclability.