Nestlé commits to flexible packaging recycling in Mexico

Nestlé commits to flexible packaging recycling in Mexico

Consumer goods company will work with Enval and Greenback on 6,000-metric-ton-per-year chemical recycling project.

September 30, 2021

Nestlé Mexico says it has signed an agreement with Greenback Recycling Technologies and Enval to build a chemical recycling plant capable of processing flexible plastic packaging in Mexico. The plant will be designed to handle 6,000 metric tons of scrap its first full year and can be scaled up in later years, according to the three firms.

The agreement, which Switzerland-based Nestlé calls its first outside of Europe, targets plastic packaging not commonly recycled, including multilayer flexible and aluminum-laminated plastics, and “aims to meet the technical and commercial requirements to ensure the circularity of food-grade plastics.”

The plant will use microwave-induced pyrolysis technology developed by United Kingdom-based Enval. The process transforms plastics into oil feedstock to produce new plastic. The two companies call it “the only technology in the world capable of recycling plastic aluminum laminates by splitting them into high-value oil and aluminum with a low-carbon footprint.”

Nestlé says it also will invest in the adaptation in Mexico of U.K.-based Greenback’s eco2Veritas circularity platform, designed to provide “complete traceability of the neutralization and recycling process.” The Swiss company says its alliance with Greenback and Enval aligns with its objective of reducing its plastic footprint while continuing the path towards achieving a waste-free future

“Making safe recycled plastics for food packaging is a huge challenge for our industry,” states Fausto Costa, Nestlé Mexico CEO. “This project with Greenback and Enval fully supports the mission of ensuring that our plastic packaging is not only recyclable but [is] actually recycled. It also ensures that we are drastically reducing plastic waste pollution and supports our work with local communities.”

Carlos Ludlow-Palafox, founder and CEO of Enval, says, “This project demonstrates the importance of collaboration between companies at different stages of the supply chain to tackle the challenge of plastics in the environment. Our technology allows the recycling of packaging that was previously considered unrecyclable, and we are delighted that our first plant, in collaboration with a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company as committed to sustainability as Nestlé and in partnership with Greenback, will be soon operating in Mexico.”

Greenback CEO Philippe von Stauffenberg says, “This project in Mexico will tackle the unresolved problem of turning multilaminate and mixed plastics that are difficult to recycle into a recyclable [scrap] stream.”