Plastic waste is a huge problem within nearly every society on earth today. One of the best ways to ensure that we are not continuing to destroy our planet with plastic waste, is to make a change in the companies that initially produce the plastic waste. Over 380 million tons of plastic are produced each year. However, there are a few companies who are working towards more sustainable alternatives.

Through my research, I discovered that the food and beverage company, Nestlé, pledged to make all of their plastic packaging 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025. Nestlé made this pledge in April of 2020, but there are visible changes being made within the company. They also set a goal to have zero environmental impact by 2030 and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

In September of 2020, Nestlé invested 30 million US dollars into becoming more sustainable in many areas. They increased the creation of food-grade recycled plastics, they created a refillable system for pet food in Chile, and they manufactured  a first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France.

In only a year since making the promise to create more sustainable packaging, 87% of Nestlé’s total packaging by weight and 66% of its total plastic packaging is recyclable or reusable. Nestlé decreased their plastic footprint almost immediately. By August of 2020, they reached plastic neutrality in the Philippines. This means that Nestlé collected and co-processed the equivalent amount of plastic as contained in the products sold and prevented the further flow of plastic into landfills and oceans. 

Many companies make promises about sustainability that they will probably never keep; However, Nestlé seems to be making true efforts towards sustainability. They have made over half of their packaging completely recyclable or reusable in less than a year. In addition, they have also set more goals for themselves as a company in order to accomplish more for people on the plain of sustainability.

Meier, Christoph. “Nestlé Intensifies Its Sustainable Packaging Transformation Journey.” Nestlé Global, 7 Sept. 2020, 

“What Are Businesses Doing to Turn off the Plastic Tap?” UNEP, UN Environment Programme,

Just Start

In order to live plastic free, most people would have to change nearly everything about the way they live their daily lives. How many people are truly willing to do this? I would hope that people have learned as much as I have about the earth and how important it is. How could I not desire to do better for myself and the place we call home? 

There are many things I would be willing to change in order to live a more plastic-free life. First of all, most of the plastic waste I create consists of water bottles and different types of plastic snack trash and straws. Only 12% of those types of plastic are fully recycled. Using less of these items still does not ensure that they will not end up in landfills or in the ocean. In order to ensure that I am not creating any more of these types of waste, I have to stop using them completely. 

Obviously, I can not stop drinking water and eating throughout the day. I can use alternative materials instead of plastic. To replace a plastic water bottle, I bought a reusable water bottle and just continually refill it. Instead of creating more and more plastic waste from snack packaging, I buy snacks that come in packaging that I can reuse or that comes in packaging that is completely biodegradable. I also bought metal straws to replace the plastic ones I used every day.

Making this change was not as difficult as some would think. In fact, I bought the reusable water bottle, the straws, and the reusable snack packaging all in the same day and began my journey of using less plastic. The only challenge I have faced so far is trying to find snacks that come in reusable or biodegradable packaging. I have found that the Aldi in my area is a great asset if you are trying to use less plastic packaging. A lot of the snacks come in cardboard packaging or cloth packaging that is reusable. 

The only plastic item I own that I do not think I could replace is my phone. Many of the parts that make up my phone are made out of plastic. I do not think that there are any phones that are not at least partially made of plastic. If there were, I would consider switching to that brand of phone. 

I will definitely stick to using more sustainable plastic options in my daily life. In addition, I will add more sustainable products and practices in my life. 

If I could give anyone advice on being more sustainable, it would be to just start. It is truly not that difficult to become more sustainable, you just have to begin making these changes. Once you start living more sustainably, it is not difficult to continue.