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In Japan Nestlé replaces the KitKat’s plastic packaging with paper to make origami cranes

3 min read

Companies across myriad industries are pledging to make their products—and packaging—more sustainable. The abandonment of plastic by large multinationals is a growing trend, starting with LEGO, which is replacing that of its bricks up to Adidas, which makes soles with recycled plastic, or Mc Donald, which no longer distributes straws to all consumers. Another such company is the food and drink giant Nestlé, the largest in Europe, which announced in January that it had committed to exclusively issue 100% recyclable packaging for all its candy by 2025. As part of that goal, Nestlé’s Japan confectionery branch recently released new packaging for its popular KitKat chocolate bars, which will now be wrapped in paper instead of plastic.


For a massive food processing conglomerate like the Switzerland-based Nestlé, shifting even part of its packaging business to recyclable materials could actualize real change.
Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé, states that “Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability problems facing the world. Facing it requires a collective approach. We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle. Japan is the largest market for KitKat, with 4 million pieces sold per day. By replacing the shiny plastic casing with eco-friendly matte paper, Nestlé plans to avoid placing about 380 tons of plastic on the market each year.”


The way of reducing plastic is not only a must for marketing needs and attention to ecology. Candy bar packaging, which is traditionally made of plastic film, is known for its hyper-glossy exterior, partially used to entice the sweet-toothed, but also because plastic, on a large scale, requires less energy to produce than paper products. In an effort to attract KitKat lovers to buy this newly matte version, Nestlé Japan has designed the new packaging with instructions for how to fashion it, post-snack, into the iconic origami crane, a traditional Japanese messenger of thoughts and wishes. Ideally, this will guarantee that the paper remains in use, longer.
The environmentally friendly reboot will debut later this month, with the most popular KitKat Mini flavors, including the original, matcha, and otona no amasa, or “sweetness for adults,” essentially a more bitter, dark chocolate taste, all wearing the paper crane designs.
Given the anticipation with which Nestle has moved, it is to be hoped that, even in Europe as soon as possible, the packages of single-dose foods will be replaced by non-polluting recyclable packaging.




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