Ground-breaking work by Nestlé research produces first recyclable paper packaging on snack bar

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

‘YES!’ bars are the first brand to convert to the new revolutionary packaging technique. Pic: Nestlé
‘YES!’ bars are the first brand to convert to the new revolutionary packaging technique. Pic: Nestlé

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A technical breakthrough in confectionery packaging will see Nestlé’s ‘YES!’ snack bar range wrapped in recyclable paper for the first time.

Nestlé is claiming a ‘world first’ in recyclable packaging on confectionery after UK-based experts, working at its R&D centre in York, discovered a way to use a recyclable paper wrapper in a high-speed ‘flow wrap cold seal’ packaging line.

The company’s new range of fruit-based and nut-based ‘YES!’ bars are the first brand to convert to the new revolutionary technique and will be rolled out from this month.

Nestlé said it represents a world first for a process that, in the past, was only suitable for plastic films and laminates.

Stefano Agostini, CEO for Nestlé in the UK and Ireland said: “YES! represents exactly what more and more people are demanding from manufacturers like Nestlé now and for the future. Last year we introduced YES! as an entirely new brand using wholesome ingredients and offering a healthier snacking option of tasty fruit and nut bars​.

Now we’ve turned our attention to the wrapper so that the packaging is sustainable and easy to recycle. It’s an important step as we work to make all of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025​.”

Carefully wrapped in paper​’  

YES! bar wrappers will now carry the message ‘carefully wrapped in paper​’ to reflect the work that has been done in adapting production lines to handle the new packaging more gently during the manufacturing process.

Jas Scott de Martinville, global confectionery R&D lead for Nestlé told ConfectioneryNews that the green packaging solution took only 10 months to solve by the York team. “This launch is the result of a lot of hard work at speed … it is an incredible achievement and one that we are all very proud of​,” she said.

The new packaging is made of a coated paper that is widely recyclable with other paper. The paper itself comes from sustainable sources, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

Matinville said the innovation has been a significant project for Nestlé’s global confectionery R&D centre in York and a small team worked independently and creatively to focus on finding the breakthrough required.

Nestlé said the challenge for experts was to find a way to use paper on high speed production lines that have been designed for more durable plastic or laminate packaging. The new wrapper then had to be tested extensively to make sure it would keep YES! bars in perfect condition during production, transport and storage.

The breakthrough didn’t arrive in time for the Yes! bar’s launch last year but product with the new recyclable wrapper should be available in UK shops as early as this week and the bar is also being launched in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, as well as the United Kingdom.

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