Subscribe to sustainability: Nestle Philippines launches new subscription service with carton recycling option

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nestle Philippines has launched a Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Baon Subscription service which provides consumers with the option to return the packaging of delivered products to the company for recycling. ©Getty Images
Nestle Philippines has launched a Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Baon Subscription service which provides consumers with the option to return the packaging of delivered products to the company for recycling. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Nestle, Philippines, Recycling, Packaging

Nestle Philippines has launched a Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Baon Subscription service which provides consumers with the option to return the packaging of delivered products to the company for recycling.

Launched in partnership with the goodfood.ph e-commerce website, the subscription service is said to be the ‘first ever’ of its kind in the country and is currently only available on a monthly basis.

“Consumers with a monthly subscription will get products delivered once a month, and subscribers may [opt to] return their used beverage cartons (UBCs) [from the previous month] every time we replenish their stock,” ​Veronica Cruz, Vice-President and Business Unit Manager of NESTLÉ Ready-To-Drink Portfolio told FoodNavigator-Asia.

“[What subscribers need to do is] remember to clean out the cartons for hygiene purposes, [and these] four easy steps: (1) cut open across the top of the carton, (2) rinse the carton, (3) push the straw in, and (4) make it flat.”

Although there is no minimum order for the subscription, but Nestle has put into place four Ready-to-Drink plan options for consumers to choose from.

First is the Choco 24-pack Plan which gives 12 180ml cartons of Chuckie chocolate milk and 12 180ml cartons of Milo plus monthly freebies; then the Baon Variety 24-pack Plan with 12 180ml cartons of Chuckie, six 180ml cartons of Milo, and six 180ml Bear Brand Yogu Strawberry cartons.

There is also the Chuckie Baon 24-pack Plan which offers 24 250ml cartons of Chuckie, and the Family Baon 24-pack Flexi Plan which offers subscribers 24 250ml cartons of their choice of Nestle Fresh milk, Nestle Non-Fat, Nestle Low-Fat and/or Chuckie.

“In the Philippines, ‘Baon’ essentially refers to provisions taken to school, work, or journeys which can be in the form of monetary allowance, food and the like,”​ said Cruz

“It’s a must for parents to want to provide their children with a nutritious and delicious baon to school every day, [and] through this service, Nestle [aims] to provide each household with nutritious and healthy baon for the kids, while helping the environment through recycling their used beverage cartons.”

 What happens to the cartons?

Although the carton-return is optional, Nestle Philippines ‘highly encourages’ consumers to return cartons for recycling as much can be done with this recycled packaging.

“The collected cartons are sent to our partner paper mill in Bulacan (Rural Industrial Corporation) that recycles UBCs,”​ said Cruz.

“These UBCs are mixed with water and shredded in a giant blender to separate the paper fibers from the polymers and aluminum. The extracted materials are turned into useful everyday items such as notebooks, NESTLÉ promo sleeves, paper bags, roofing sheets and planter boxes, etc.”

Although the service is currently only available via goodfood.ph, Nestle Philippines said that it does not plan to stop there.

“[We] are definitely looking to explore expanding this to more platforms and Nestlé products in the future,”​ added Cruz.

Sustainability efforts

Nestle Philippines was named as one the major ‘culprits’ in the country’s plastic waste production by environmental campaigning organization Greenpeace last year, after enormous waves of plastic waste hit the coast of Manila​.

“Producers are set to increase [plastic] production by an additional 40% over the next decade. We are scrambling to find solutions to this crisis and clean up their mess, but corporations like Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and others will continue producing more plastics, which inevitably pour into our waterways and oceans,”​ said Abigail Aguilar, campaigner at Greenpeace Philippines.

The company was quick to clarify its stance on increasing recyclable packaging and reducing plastic use, but Nestle Philippines Chairman and CEO Marzouki has admitted that this will likely take some time and ‘cannot be achieved overnight’​​.

“We are aiming for plastic neutrality [as the end goal of the 2025 commitment], which in essence means we will recover plastics equal to what we produce,”​ he said.

“This cannot be achieved overnight. Plastics are today still an important packaging, helping us to provide safe and high quality products to a lot of consumers who can only afford one single serve at a time.​

“So finding a way to create a circular economy, a circular movement of people finding value in collecting plastics and reusing and repurposing them, is [important] for us.”​

Earlier this year, the company announced that 75% of all its packaging was confirmed to be recyclable​.

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