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Smarties becomes the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging

smarties im paper pack
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Nestlé’s much-loved Smarties brand will shortly be using recyclable paper packaging for its confectionery products worldwide. This represents a transition of 90% of the Smarties range, as 10% was already packed in recyclable paper packaging.

The rollout of the new material, which will be complete in the UK and Ireland by April, makes Smarties the first global confectionery brand to move to paper packaging, removing approximately 250 million plastic packs sold worldwide every year. The innovative new designs includes sharing bags, multipacks and giant hexatubes made from coated paper, paper labels or carton board, all produced from sustainably sourced and recyclable material.

Alexander von Maillot, Global Head of Confectionery at Nestlé, said: “Moving Smarties packaging to recyclable paper is one of our key sustainable packaging initiatives in the confectionery category. It is a further step in realising Nestlé’s ambition to make all of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce our use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period.”

Louise Barrett, Head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Centre in York, said:

“Developing safe and convenient paper-based solutions for Smarties has required the pioneering of new materials and testing by Nestlé packaging experts at our R&D centre for confectionery in York and at the Swiss-based Institute of Packaging Sciences. We adapted our existing manufacturing lines to allow for the careful handling that is required for paper, while also ensuring recyclability across all new formats.”

The launch of the Smarties sharing block in a recyclable paper wrapper last year was an important step forward in the overall packaging transition. Now Smarties blocks are being relaunched with a brand new, playful mould and three delicious flavours. Available in milk chocolate and white chocolate featuring mini Smarties; and in orange flavoured chocolate featuring orange mini Smarties, the 90g blocks hit shops in February. The milk and orange varieties will be sold at major retailers and convenience stores, the white chocolate block will be available exclusively in ASDA stores.

Alberto Pisanello, Brand Manager for Smarties said: “From paper multipacks to sharing bags, we’re delighted to be rolling out this innovative packaging across our Smarties range. We’re also excited to introduce our revamped range of paper-wrapped Smarties blocks. Featuring mini Smarties enveloped in delicious smooth milk, white or orange-flavoured chocolate, it’s Smarties reimagined!”

tree smarties paper packs

Other recent actions Nestlé has announced to introduce alternative and recyclable packaging materials include:

  • Investing up to CHF 2 billion (£1.6 billion) to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and to accelerate the development of sustainable packaging solutions.
  • Signing up to the European Plastics Pact. The Pact will help Nestlé achieve 100% recyclable or reusable packaging and reduce the use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025.
  • Creating an Institute of Packaging Sciences to evaluate and develop various sustainable packaging materials and to collaborate with industrial partners to develop new packaging materials and solutions.
  • The whole range of Buxton Natural Mineral Water will be made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET), while remaining 100% recyclable, by the end of 2021.

Launched in 1937, Smarties contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Sales of Smarties in the UK and Ireland totalled £72 million* in the past year.

Notes to Editors:

*Source: IRI Infoscan, Confectionery Database, 52 weeks, Value Sales, MAT 28.11.20, Total GB

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. With more than 2000 brands ranging from global icons to local favourites, we are present in 191 countries around the world.