Nestlé Malaysia is introducing paper straws for its MILO UHT 125ml drink packs during the fourth quarter of 2019. According to the company, this will help avoid 40 million plastic straws being used each year. Following this pilot initiative, the company also plans to roll out this packaging solution to its other MILO UHT variants in phases, with the ultimate objective of eliminating over 200 million plastic straws a year.
According to the press statement, this is one of the many initiatives it has in place in its war on plastic waste. Nestlé added that it is continuously developing environmentally-friendly solutions, which have resulted in two thirds of its total plastic packaging being designed for recycling. The company is also constantly co-developing and testing new environmentally-friendly packaging materials and systems together with its development centres, suppliers, research institutions and start-ups.
Besides innovating its packaging, Nestlé also wants to inspire behaviour change to promote a waste-free future. Earlier this year, the group eliminated all single-use plastic at Nestlé work sites and educated employees on the importance of recycling. The group also held a nationwide beach clean-up, collecting over 5.6 tonnes of waste in nine locations across Malaysia, with over 600 Nestle employees participating.
CEO Juan Aranols (pictured right) said reducing plastic waste and mitigating climate change effects through advanced technology and product design, as well as consumer education, are a priority for the company.
"Our teams have worked very hard to successfully roll out a solution that is not only effective and scalable, but most importantly, one that meets Nestlé’s stringent product quality standards for the safety of consumers. This is all part of our commitment to continue searching aggressively for solutions in our on-going war on plastic waste," he said.
Ng Su Yen (pictured left), business executive officer, Ready to Drink Business Unit, Nestlé said the journey towards producing paper straws "has not been simple". The company had to ensure that the alternative straws are made from high quality material that fits packaging specifications, and remain sturdy when used, without posing any safety risks.
"We also had to identify suppliers who were capable of meeting our rigorous standards at the quantities required for high volume production. Following these efforts, we are truly pleased to be able to share this important innovation with our consumers,” Ng added.