TAKING ACTION TO REPLACE PLASTIC STRAWS
Single-use plastics have a devastating impact on the health of our oceans. They are a major global problem. In fact, it’s estimated that if immediate action isn’t taken, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
One of the most ubiquitous forms of single-use plastic is the plastic drinking-straw. In the US alone, more than 500 million are used every day.
Consumers are becoming more and more interested in the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. And plastic straws have become a popular cause of concern among Brazilian shoppers. For that reason, Brazil’s second-largest city – Rio de Janeiro – recently passed a law prohibiting the use of plastic straws. And several other cities are planning to follow suit.
At Nestlé, we recognise that plastic straws have become a global problem, and we’re prepared to take decisive action to help solve it.
We’re looking for a partner to help us re-think the role of plastic straws in our ‘Ready to Drink’ packaging in Brazil. The challenge is to mitigate, reduce, or even eliminate the environmental impact of straws — the effects of which will be felt across our entire value chain.
Your solution could involve a new kind of packaging which removes the need for plastic straws, without weakening the customer experience. It could be a behaviour-change initiative which compels Brazilians to reuse or recycle their straws. Your solution might even involve alternatives to plastic, like edible or bio-degradable materials. Or perhaps a change in supply chain which incorporates new plastic sources or upcycling.
We’re open to all kinds of suggestions, just as long as your solution mitigates, reduces or eliminates the environmental impact of plastic straws from our ‘Ready to Drink’ beverages. Your solution must also be scalable, so that it can be applied to our whole pipeline of carton beverages.
If you have any questions about this particular challenge, you can get in touch with Juliana here.
Why it matters
According to the Ocean Conservancy, plastic straws are the seventh most common item collected in beach clean-ups. But the fact you can find them littered on almost every beach in the world simply shows the scale of the problem that’s below the surface — most plastic straws end up in our oceans, polluting the water and harming wildlife.
Some plastic straws lodge themselves chokingly in the nostrils of turtles, or the gills of fish. Some are found in the digestive systems of whales, dolphins, fish or pelagic birds. While others – instead of biodegrading or dissolving – break down into smaller and smaller pieces known as ‘microplastics’, which threaten to slowly poison almost all kinds of marine life.
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