For sustainable society


Reduce packaging paper by selling with dispensers

Just like you bring your own bottle to a cafe, the time may come when you put chocolates and cereals in your own container and take them home from the supermarket.

Nestlé, a global food manufacturer known for Nescafe, Kitkat and other products, has started an attempt to sell products without using wrapping paper. Shoppers bring their own containers and pack and purchase items directly from the store’s large dispenser. This is one of Nestlé’s efforts to reduce disposable wrapping paper.

The trial operation of the dispenser sales will be carried out for 4 months at three Nestlé shops in Switzerland, where the headquarters is located. The signature instant coffee Nescafe Gold and Purina for pet food are sold at dispensers. The shopper selects the type of container and product brand on the touch panel, puts the product in the container from the dispenser, and purchases. Product information such as ingredients, nutritional value, and expiration date usually written on the wrapping paper can be output by printing a label on the touch panel, and printed out to take home.

MIWA, a Czech company, contributed to this effort. This start-up venture proposes a new retail system that does not use plastic wrapping paper through the development of dispensers and containers. The company name MIWA stands for MInimum WAste. Instead of recycling 16 million tonnes of plastic wrapping paper emitted annually in the EU, MIWA develops its business with the idea of reducing its own quantity.

According to Nestlé’s announcement, the trial operation has been well received by shoppers and plans to increase the amount of dispensers in the coming months. Hélène Lanctuit, R&D Packaging Lead at Nestlé, says: “Packaging plays a key role in maintaining food safety during a product’s shelf life. This means that whenever new packaging systems are explored we need to ensure that our products can be delivered to consumers in a safe and hygienic manner. These dispensers are novel because they incorporate smart technology which allows us to ensure product safety, and also guarantee the freshness and traceability of our products.” 

In September last year, Nestlé established the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, which specializes in the research and development of safe and eco-friendly packaging. In addition to the sale by dispenser this time, they research from various viewpoints such as reusable wrapping paper, simplified packaging material, recycled packaging material, bio-based compostable biodegradable material Is proceeding. Nestlé has pledged to make all packages recyclable or reusable by 2025. 

The package plays an important role as the image of the product. Nevertheless, the idea of losing a package without being bound by such common sense is a great challenge. It is truly a measure that broadens the interpretation of one of the goals of the SDGs, “Responsible consumption and production”.


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