By Dieter Holger
Total and Nestle SA (NESN.EB) said Tuesday that they have joined a project to boost plastic recycling in France, one of the European countries with the lowest plastic recycling rates.
The project will develop the chemical-recycling industry in the country and tackle unrecyclable plastic, including multilayered food-grade packaging that is usually incinerated or discarded.
France recycled an estimated 27% of plastic packaging waste in 2017, compared with 42% across the European Union's 28 member states, European Commission figures show.
Bernard Pinatel, president of refining and chemicals at French energy company Total, said teaming up with major players in the packaging value chain is "an important step in our ambition to produce 30% recycled polymers by 2030."
"Chemical recycling is a perfect addition to our existing mechanical recycling activities," he said.
Swiss food giant Nestle said the project furthers its goal of 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.
"Combining our expertise in a collective project to improve recycling is something we need to do to tackle the global plastic issue," said Mathieu Tuau, head of packaging and sustainability at Nestle France.
The other members of the project are engineering firms Citeo and Recycling Technologies and packaged-food company Mars Inc., famous for its Snickers and Twix candybars. Mars has a goal of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
"Identifying and investing in the right waste management systems is a critical part of the solution to address the plastic waste problem," said Kate Wylie, global vice president of sustainability at Mars.
Write to Dieter Holger at email@example.com; @dieterholger