Plastic is everywhere.
Even in the simplest of tasks, we use it, perhaps without realising – while brushing our teeth, combing our hair, or drinking a bottle of water. And while it helps us function in our day to day lives, its potential long-term effects can be detrimental to our planet’s future.
From the oceans to the deserts, the world depends on our ability to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste. It depends on our ability to create a world in the very near future where every single piece of packaging is recyclable or reusable. And it depends on our ability to create a world where rubbish isn’t sent to landfill, but is turned into something new.
Nestlé has taken a bold stand in this environmental fight.
We have made a global commitment to make 100% of our packaging either recyclable or reusable by the year 2025. As part of that commitment, Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago recently announced that we will replace litter-prone plastic straws with sustainably sourced paper straws across our entire range of juice and dairy products. Nestlé is the first company in the Trinidad and Tobago to make this environmental shift, and the ORCHARD® brand takes lead as the first brand within our family to undergo the paper straw innovation in the region; a change which challenges consumers to step away from what we’ve all grown accustomed to, and rethink the way we drink, in favour of the sustainability of our globe. This change will result in an 89% reduction in plastic used in traditional plastic straws at our Valsayn factory with the elimination of 45 million plastic straws, annually.
ORCHARD’s® Legacy of Firsts
ORCHARD® was first conceptualized in Trinidad and Tobago and has been manufactured at our Valsayn factory for over 40 years. The brand is 100% Caribbean-born and bred, with origins that date back as far back as 1976.
In 1972, Nestlé became the first to introduce Tetra Pak packaging to the region. Tetra is a special type of packaging, made from paper, aluminum and plastic, which is designed to be recyclable and also has the ability to extend the shelf life of our drink products.
When Nestlé became the first company in the world to issue a formal, global pledge to reduce sugar, salt and trans-fat across ALL our products, the ORCHARD® brand subsequently declared another first; becoming the first drink product to decrease sugar content by 33%-60%.
ORCHARD®, ‘the perfectly natural choice,’ now adds paper straws to our list of firsts.
A Commitment to the Environment
“We have ceased production using plastic straws, and successfully transitioned to the use of sustainably sourced paper straws across our entire range of ready-to-drink juice and dairy products. Though we have had to make many adjustments in our daily lives as an effect of COVID-19, we have not allowed the challenges we have faced to change our commitment to our purpose and to the environment” Patricio Torres, Head of Market for the Anglo Dutch Caribbean Region (ADC) declared in his address to employees at the internal virtual paper straw launch. Torres lauded the efforts of the entire team whose hard work over the course of more than one year will see Nestlé eliminate approximately 45 million plastic straws from the environment annually.
The new paper straws are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensuring that they come from responsibly managed forests, and maintain the U-shaped bend of the previous plastic straw. The straws are designed for recycling within the beverage container and should be pushed back into the pack and placed in beverage container recycling bins for disposal.
Stepping Forward in the Right Direction
Elisa Doldron, Business Executive Officer for Dairy, Juices and RTD Beverages shared that Nestlé’s call to rethink the way we drink through our paper straw innovation was only the first step in igniting the recycling revolution in the Caribbean. The company will continue working on a series of initiatives aimed at further sustainability and reductions in packaging material. Up next - the transition to a paper straw wrap which will encase the paper straw on pack.
Elisa indicated that production design testing for this innovation which will complement the paper straw is already well underway and highlighted that “Our paper straw and recycling initiative is being led by our iconic local brand Nestlé ORCHARD® - a brand which has never been afraid to take bold steps and risks that would ultimately result in progress.” As part of ORCHARD’s® sustainable packaging commitment, our all-local brand will invest in and collaborate with partners responsible for collecting and recycling its packaging once received by consumers. And as for consumers, ORCHARD® will soon launch an education campaign teaching them how to recycle, where to recycle, and the reasons why they should, working to close the loop on the entire recycling process.