Nestle pledges to make fully compostable cups a reality

Fully compostable cups are the target of the Nestle-backed NextGen Challenge
Fully compostable cups are the target of the Nestle-backed NextGen Challenge

Every day, hundreds of millions of single-use coffee cups are purchased around the world, and subsequently discarded. Reusable cups are on the rise, as are the use of recyclable cups. Now, Nestle has pledged to develop the world's first completely compostable cup, as part of its NextGen Challenge.

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26 February 2019 | 0

Global food giant Nestlé has announced plans to join forces with other industry partners on a project to develop a fully recyclable, compostable fibre cup as part of the NextGen Consortium and Cup Challenge.

The announcement follows a series of steps taken by Nestlé to accelerate action to tackle plastic waste, part of its commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

The NextGen Cup Challenge is the first initiative of the NextGen Consortium, a multi-industry group that aims to “advance the design, commercialization and recovery of food packaging alternatives”. It calls on innovators, start-ups, suppliers and industry experts to join a global challenge to develop the next generation of recyclable, compostable, hot and cold, to-go, fibre cups.

The challenge launched in October 2018 and winners will be announced this month. Up to six winners will be invited to enter an accelerator programme to help scale up and commercialize their solutions. Winners will receive a portion of up to US$1 million in funding to help advance their idea through the supply chain and into consumers’ hands.

Stefan Palzer, Nestlé chief technology officer said that solving the issue of plastic waste requires collaboration among many different stakeholders. “W are excited to join the NextGen Consortium and Cup Challenge,” he said, “as it brings together partners and suppliers to find an industry wide, global packaging solution for sustainable to-go cups.”

If and when these cups can be introduced on a large scale, it would eliminate countless tons of waste being sent to landfill every year. It is one of a number of initiatives being explored around the world as experts warn that the Earth is approaching a major crisis of sustainable solutions if all areas are not embraced as a matter of urgency. Watch this space.

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