It is estimated that close to 14 billion pounds of trash gets dumped into the ocean every year. Sadly, a lot of it is plastic. The water gets polluted, life under water washes ashore with plastic in their stomachs, and the impact on local habitat is destructive.
Water pollution is a problem that continues to grow. Fortunately, we now see more companies taking action to do something about. Here is one such example.
Nestle has launched a new recyclable wrapper for a snack bar that it claims will degrade in a marine environment within six months.
The YES! range will also be used on a high-speed packaging line in a “world-first” technological breakthrough.
Last year, the brand pledged to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Speaking about the wrapper, Michael Carroll, lead on innovation and sustainability for Nestle, said:
“We know it will degrade in a marine environment within six months, which, compared to the flow wrap that it’s currently in, it’s about 450 years.”
The confectionery company said it had to overcome 90 challenges to develop the material and adapt current machinery and processes to handle the product more gently.
Experts at its research and development centre in York said the 300 bars-per-minute “flow wrap cold seal” packing process, has previously only been suitable for use with more durable plastic films and laminates.
But it took the team just 10 months to come up with the design and adapt production lines to ensure the bars are kept in perfect condition during packaging, transport and storage.
Bruce Funnell, head of packaging at Nestle, said: “This has been a real first for us.
“Really this is the first confectionery product bar that’s wrapped at high speed and is ensuring we have a good shelf life without compromise to the consumer.”
Mr Funnell added that the wrappers contained around 60% recyclable fibres.
The new wrapper will rolled out on the YES! fruit and nut-based bars from July and will carry the message “carefully wrapped in paper”.
Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com
UNITED KINGDOM, 3 July 2019