Some say it’s what's on the inside that counts, but when it comes to KitKat we’re as keen to perfect the wrapper on the outside as we are the chocolate on the inside!
In an Australian first, KitKat is now wrapped in packaging made with 90% recycled plastic using mass balance certified by ISCC* – the highest proportion of recycled plastic used in soft plastic packaging by any major food brand in Australia.
This significant step on the brand’s sustainability journey cuts 1,200,000m2 of virgin plastic each year, enough to cover approximately 1000 50m swimming pools.
Sourcing recycled plastic is just one part of our strategy to achieve our global commitment to reduce the amount of virgin plastic we use by one third by 2025.
Breaks for good
On a mission to provide ‘breaks for good’ we’ve challenged ourselves to continue to innovate with our KitKat packaging and move our progress forward.
In 2020, we replaced the iconic KitKat logo on the pack with a mobius loop. By turning the wrapper into a recycling reminder chocolate lovers couldn’t miss, we aimed to build awareness of soft plastic recycling and encouraged consumers to think about their recycling habits.
We made our first step towards using recycled plastic wrappers in 2021, when we collaborated with companies across the industry to collect and process soft plastic waste and turn it back into oil, then used it to create a prototype KitKat wrapper – the first food wrapper in Australia made with recycled material.
And we kept the momentum going in 2022, introducing select KitKat products wrapped in 30% recycled plastic mass balance*.
In early 2023, KitKat launched paper packaging in an exclusive trial in Australia. The paper packaging trial was a global first for KitKat, covering more than a quarter of a million KitKat bars – enough to stretch almost 50km end-to-end.
Now, over the next 12 months, 40 million KitKat products will be wrapped with 90% recycled plastic*. The new wrappers can now be found on the classic KitKat and KitKat Gold 4-finger bars, KitKat Chunky Aero Mint bar and classic KitKat block.
What does 90% and mass balance mean?
The recycled plastic is certified using the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) mass balance approach.
The mass balance approach ensures that a minimum of 90% recycled plastic is sourced and allocated to the KitKat wrappers on the classic KitKat and KitKat Gold 4-finger bars, KitKat Chunky Aero Mint bar and classic KitKat block.
Looking to the future
Currently, soft plastic linked to recycled materials that’s suitable for food packaging isn’t widely available anywhere in the world. We’ve searched high and low to find as much of this packaging as we can – and we’re committed to increasing the number of KitKat bars wrapped with recycled material* as fast as possible.
Globally, Nestlé is investing up to CHF 2 billion to accelerate the development of more sustainable packaging and the infrastructure to support a shift from virgin plastics to food grade recycled plastic. As global availability increases, we plan to introduce wrappers made with recycled plastic* to further product ranges.
Our aim is that every KitKat bar we create is a treat for all.
*Using ISCC mass balance approach