Quality Street moves from plastic wrappers to recyclable paper

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Quality Street Tub 2kg Front

Quality Street’s multicoloured confectionery is set to go green as Nestle has announced move to paper-based packaging using recyclable paper, stated reports today (3).

The change marks the first switch away from rustling, shiny plastic wrappers for the brand in 86 years since Harold Mackintosh launched the brand in 1936. The move is expected to stop nearly two billion wrappers a year ending up in landfill.

The latest change comes after the brand’s owner, Nestlé, tried swapping the outer plastic layer for compostable cellulose in 2008 – but it found most were still tossed in the bin. 

Quality Street manufacturers Nestle said it believes people will respond “positively” when it unveils the new plastic-free wrappings in the coming weeks. 

“Quality Street is a brand that people feel very strongly about. We know that opening the lid and seeing ‘the jewels’, as we call them, is really important,” Sky News quoted Head of sustainability Cheryl Allen as saying.

“We think we’ve done a really good job with the redesign and feel confident that people will respond positively.” 

The change will take several months to complete, so the consumers will find a mix of old and new wrappers in their Quality Street tubs and tins this Christmas. Around 1.7 billion Quality Street chocolates are enjoyed every year in the UK. 

Nestle has been working for a number of years to reduce packaging and food waste across its products. It said it was also switching KitKat wrappers to 80 percent recycled plastic that could be recycled at supermarkets across the UK or put in household recycling in Ireland. 

The revamp for KitKat comes 21 years after it swapped its traditional, fully recyclable, paper and foil wrap for plastic. Smarties, also owned by Nestlé, introduced recyclable paper packaging last year. 

Helen Bird, at the government-backed recycling body Wrap, has welcomed the move. 

“We welcome these new initiatives from Nestlé, founding members of the UK Plastics Pact, to improve the recyclability of Quality Street and using advanced recycling technology to include recycled plastic into its KitKat packaging – something we need to significantly ramp up in the UK, and across the world. We look forward to further rollout,” The Guardian quoted Bird as saying.