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KitKat Japan Is Ditching Plastic Packaging For Paper Which You Can Fold Into Origami
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Product Design3 years ago

KitKat Japan Is Ditching Plastic Packaging For Paper Which You Can Fold Into Origami

Greenwashing. Have you ever heard of it? It is essentially the false impression that a company or its products are more environmentally sound than they really are. For a company like Nestlé, one of the world’s biggest producers of plastic trash, it has become an essential marketing tool.

The company has been at the center of so many scandals over the years and have repeatedly shown that they have incredibly low ethical standards and little interest in social responsibility. For these reasons, marketing stunts like these, designed to go ‘viral’ and get people talking about them in a positive light, must be taken with a pinch of salt.

Image credits: Nestlé Japan

Nestlé Japan has gotten all the buzz recently by replacing its glossy plastic wrappers with more environmentally- friendly paper ones. Added to this are bonus origami instructions, so you can create an iconic paper crane design instead of throwing your waste away.

Image credits: Nestle

The world’s biggest food company has vowed to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, after facing increasing pressure from environmental groups.

Greenpeace Plastics Campaigner Kate Melges says that “Nestlé has created a monster by producing endless quantities of throwaway plastics that persist in our environment for lifetimes.”

Image credits: Nestlé Japan

The NGO is running a campaign called ‪#‎PlasticMonster,‬ which aims to stop the production of single-use plastics. “Over 90% of the plastic ever produced has not been recycled, yet companies are set to dramatically increase the production of plastic packaging over the next decade,” they write.

“People living along rivers and coastlines in Southeast Asia and in other communities around the world are among the most impacted by plastic pollution. Even though excessive production of single-use plastic for packaging is the real cause, these communities are often blamed for this crisis.”

“Companies like Nestlé are the ones actually responsible for the plastic monster that is destroying our planet. But they also have the power to slay this monster by reducing the amount of single-use plastic produced.”

Image credits: Nestlé Japan

Nestlé has estimated that the new initiative will help to reduce the brand’s plastic waste by approximately 380 tonnes per year. However, some people believe that this is just nowhere near enough.

Image credits: Nestlé Japan

“Nestlé’s statement on plastic packaging includes more of the same greenwashing baby steps to tackle a crisis it helped to create,” Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Graham Forbes says. “It will not actually move the needle toward the reduction of single-use plastics in a meaningful way, and sets an incredibly low standard as the largest food and beverage company in the world. The statement is full of ambiguous or nonexistent targets, relies on ‘ambitions’ to do better, and puts the responsibility on consumers rather than the company to clean up its own plastic pollution.”

“Identified as one of the worst plastic polluters in cleanups and brand audits around the world, Nestle is accountable to do more to address the problem. It is in the position and has the power and resources to phase out single-use plastics towards zero-waste in its packaging.”

So although this is a good first step by KitKat Japan, something that is both positive in reducing single-use plastics and fun for the consumer, we need more from the likes of Nestlé.

Image credits: Nestlé Japan

I guess we can only hope that Nestlé makes good on its pledge and continues to reduce its plastic waste impact. Unfortunately, their track record of following through on sustainability promises doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

Mega-companies like Nestlé need to be coerced into change by consumer behaviour, so shop ethically!  Hitting offending companies where it hurts – in their pockets – is where a real difference can be made!

Here’s what people had to say about the KitKat wrappers

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Bunzilla
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, I still hate Nestle as a company. I hate the fact that they make a lot of the chocolate bars I love the most, but I refuse to buy their products. Haven't had one of their candy bars in years. I despise their business practices and they're going to have to do a whole lot more than make 'origami paper' packaging for me to say 'good job'. If they would stop stealing drinking water / ground water, and would instead filter ocean water... and if they used responsibly sourced oils / chocolate, and used bio-plastics instead of oil plastics... THEN maybe they could actually be responsible as a company. I think they've made this move because they sell a lot of their KitKats in Japan, where there are hundreds of different flavours available.

Tina Hugh
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Me too. I can’t bear to buy anything from Nestlé. It’s their marketing of powdered baby formula to impoverished people that bothers me most. They act with impunity. It’s wrong

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LOttawa
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not too long ago, Kit Kats (at least in Canada) used to be wrapped in aluminum foil (which is recyclable if cleaned) and paper. I wonder if they will go back.

David Wheater
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here in the U.K., it's only recently that kit-kats have been wrapped in plastic. They were never stale, not as I remember anyway.

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Tina Hugh
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn’t know Nestlé made Kit Kats. I can’t enjoy Nestlé products because of the things that company does and has done.

Jace
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nestlé bought a TON of other companies over the years. There has been constant consolidation in the food production business for decades and no one in government seems to have the will to do anything about it.

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Bunzilla
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, I still hate Nestle as a company. I hate the fact that they make a lot of the chocolate bars I love the most, but I refuse to buy their products. Haven't had one of their candy bars in years. I despise their business practices and they're going to have to do a whole lot more than make 'origami paper' packaging for me to say 'good job'. If they would stop stealing drinking water / ground water, and would instead filter ocean water... and if they used responsibly sourced oils / chocolate, and used bio-plastics instead of oil plastics... THEN maybe they could actually be responsible as a company. I think they've made this move because they sell a lot of their KitKats in Japan, where there are hundreds of different flavours available.

Tina Hugh
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Me too. I can’t bear to buy anything from Nestlé. It’s their marketing of powdered baby formula to impoverished people that bothers me most. They act with impunity. It’s wrong

Load More Replies...
LOttawa
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not too long ago, Kit Kats (at least in Canada) used to be wrapped in aluminum foil (which is recyclable if cleaned) and paper. I wonder if they will go back.

David Wheater
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here in the U.K., it's only recently that kit-kats have been wrapped in plastic. They were never stale, not as I remember anyway.

Load More Replies...
Tina Hugh
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I didn’t know Nestlé made Kit Kats. I can’t enjoy Nestlé products because of the things that company does and has done.

Jace
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nestlé bought a TON of other companies over the years. There has been constant consolidation in the food production business for decades and no one in government seems to have the will to do anything about it.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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