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Nestlé joins alliance to develop bioplastics

Nestlé has joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and seven consumer firms to develop bioplastics, derived from plant materials.

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The Bioplastics Feedstock Alliance (BFA) includes consumer goods firms such as Coca-Cola, Danone, Ford, Heinz Nike, P&G, and Unilever, along with Nestlé.

BFA will use agricultural materials such as sugar cane, corn, bulrush, and switchgrass, in place of petroleum-based products, to make bioplastics, as part of the sustainable packaging.

Nestlé global research and development sustainability manager Anne Roulin said, "Joining the alliance means we will be able to help build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry whilst addressing issues such as land use, food security and biodiversity."

BFA plans to bring together experts from industry, academia and civil society to develop support informed science, collaboration, education in a bid to guide the evaluation as well as sustainable development of materials that can be converted into bioplastics.

Nestlé said the company is already using bioplastics made from sugar cane and other plant-based materials, and from early 2012, several sizes of VITTEL bottled water have been packaged in a PET bottle made from 30% plant-based material.

The company intends to use second generation bioplastics, made from the by-products of forestry, agriculture or the food chain such as molasses or cane residue or non-food sources such as algae, cellulose and waste products.

Image: Vittel uses 30% bioplastic made from molasses in various bottle sizes. Photo: Courtesy of Nestlé.