While companies all over the world bid to reduce their use of single-use plastic to become more sustainable, KitKat has just won the game by turning its packaging into origami.
Back in January, food and drink giant Nestlé, which owns KitKat, revealed it would commit to exclusively issuing 100 per cent recyclable packaging for its products by 2025.
As part of that, Nestlé’s Japanese branch has launched new packaging for the popular miniature KitKat chocolate bars, which will now be wrapped in paper, instead of plastic.
Nestlé Japan has even updated the packaging to instruct users on how to fashion the wrapping, after enjoying the snack, into the classic origami crane, which is a traditional Japanese messenger of thoughts and wishes. It’s hoped this means the paper will remain in use for longer, rather than being thrown away immediately after consuming the snack.
Switching to an environmentally friendly wrapping on the miniature KitKat multipacks in Japan alone – which happens to be the biggest market for KitKats, of which about 4 million are sold every day—is expected to cut down on roughly 380 tons of plastic each year, Statista reports.
As per Fast Company, the environmentally friendly shift will launch later this month with the most popular KitKat mini flavours – including the original, matcha and otona no amasa, which means ‘sweetness for adults’ and is essentially a darker chocolate taste which is slightly more bitter – coming out first.
Next September, the brand will roll out the paper packaging into its normal-sized KitKat multipacks, before going on to release single-layer paper wrappers for individual KitKats in 2021.
Meanwhile, here in the UK, Waitrose is doing its bit to reduce plastic waste by asking customers to bring their own containers in a new trial.
Aiming to reduce single use packaging by removing plastic from fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants, the trial – called Unpacked – hopes to reduce waste drastically.
Customers will also be able to use their own containers to buy ‘unpacked’ items such as pasta, cereals, coffee, and rice from dispensers throughout the store.
Ariana Densham, an oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK, praised the move:
Lots of supermarkets are starting to sell loose fruit and vegetables, but this kind of innovation could spark a refill culture that’s so desperately needed to cut plastics in mainstream shops.
The top 10 UK supermarkets produce 810,000 tonnes of throwaway packaging each year, so we need to see other major retailers taking plastic reduction seriously and following Waitrose’s lead.
As more and more brands reduce their reliance on single-use plastic, we can only hope we’re not too late in cleaning up and saving our planet from potential environmental disaster.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.