From Nestle to Walmart to Unilever, how world’s top companies are going plastic-free in 2020

FE Online
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With the increased awareness of making the environment eco-friendly, renowned brands are making efforts to either stop or minimise the usage of plastic for their products. From toy manufacturers to hotels, these companies claim to be stepping up by introducing greener means for their products. It is to note that the United Nations in its draft plan, released on January 13, has outlined a path which intends to cut nutrient and plastic pollution by at least 50 per cent. If not stopping the complete use of plastic, companies are expected to use the recycled and bio-based plastic materials to cut down on pollution.

Here is a list of companies going for plastic control


Ikea has recently committed to transition of its plastic packaging to a mushroom-based renewable alternative which can grow in a controlled environment. Similar to plastic, this alternative can be easily formed into shapes. Moreover, it has the capability to decompose fully in 30 days. The company is also ditching plastic bags in 2020. This year, the company's 363 outlets worldwide will be eliminating single-use plastic plates, cups, drink stirrers, tableware and straws along with freezer bags, garbage bags, and packaging.


Swiss food giant Nestle has recently said it would invest $2.1 billion over the next five years to cut its use of virgin plastics in favour of food-grade recycled plastics. It also plans to invest in new types of sustainable packaging in order to meet its target of making all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. Nestle plans to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third over the next five years and is likely to set up a venture fund with 250 million Swiss francs to invest in start-up companies in the recycling sector.


Toy manufacturer, Mattel in its recent commitment wants to use 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastics materials in its products as well as packaging by 2030. The company will deliver its first product aligned with this new goal which is Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack. This toy will be made from sugarcane-based plastics and packaged in completely recycled or sustainably sourced material. 


Walmart has previously announced it is trying to achieve 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its private brand packaging by 2025. It will further encourage other brands that it sells to set similar goals. Walmart is also working with suppliers to cut down the complete usage of non-recyclable PVC plastic in general merchandise packaging by 2020.

Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza Hotels 

The Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotel chains will be providing shampoo and other bathroom amenities from bulk-sized containers for all of its 843,000 guest rooms with an aim to eliminate millions of plastic bottles from landfills. InterContinental Hotels Group will be implementing the phase-out across all 5,600 of their properties worldwide with the transition to be completed within two years.


Food and cosmetics giant Unilever has also stated that it will cut its use of new plastic in packaging by half by 2025. The company also acknowledged that the move is somewhat aimed at young and environmentally conscious customers.