Sustainability

Nestlé co-funds new chair to look at sustainable packaging materials

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé has announced it is co-funding a new chair for sustainable materials at the EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland. Pic: Nestlé
Nestlé has announced it is co-funding a new chair for sustainable materials at the EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland. Pic: Nestlé

Related tags: Nestlé, Packaging

Nestlé has announced that it is to co-fund a new chair for sustainable materials at the EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland, together with Logitech, SIG and other industry partners.

The companies have already provided CHF5m ($5.3m) over 10 years to focus on the research and development of sustainable materials such as alternative packaging to enable the reduction of plastic waste.

The funding will also support a new chair, to be appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor, for sustainable materials research within EPFL's Institute of Materials. He or she will be responsible for developing and implementing a new research program on sustainable materials.

Critical areas

Research topics of interest will address critical areas, such as the overall environmental impact of materials and the exploration of bio-based, bio-degradable and recyclable materials, including high-performance paper-based barrier materials that could help to address environmental concerns about plastic packaging, and more, the joint companies said in a statement.

Stefan Palzer, Nestlé chief technology officer said: "Tackling plastic pollution is a top priority for Nestlé. We continue our efforts to pilot novel approaches for re-use packaging, while also evaluating new recycling technologies and sustainable packaging materials. The development of high performing, environmentally friendly materials requires a fundamental understanding of material structures and properties, which is why we are collaborating with our innovation partners to invest in sustainable material research at EPFL​."

He said the discovery and development of functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions is a key focus for Nestlé.

In 2018, the company announced its Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences as an important step further to achieve the company’s commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. The Institute’s broader research partnership with EPFL includes a four-year agreement to support postdoctoral and PhD projects aimed at developing and testing life-cycle engineered food packaging.

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