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10 September, 2019

Nestlé's origami paper wrapper

Vernon Dias
In the latest report from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Nestlé and Unilever were found to be the top sources of plastic pollution in waste audits done in the Philippines (it used to be a dumping ground through the global waste trade). In fact, Nestlé and Unilever have been top offenders when it comes to polluting our planet. Normally, I’m all about calling them out – but today I am giving Nestlé a small break and applauding them for this brilliant move.

In Japan, KitKat has discarded it’s plastic packaging and made their chocolate bars available in recyclable paper wrappers. But that’s not all. KitKat has gone on to add an extra bit of fun and engagement in their packaging. Each package now includes instructions on how to make an origami crane out of it, instead of throwing it away.

Origami from KitKat

This origami idea is so interesting because:

  • It introduces this art form to people who haven’t experienced it before, but it will also re-ignite interest in people who know and love origami.
  • Cranes have a mystical appeal in Japan and are said to live for thousands of years. So, they represent good luck and longevity. It is believed that if someone folds 1000 origami cranes, their wish comes true!
  • In Japanese, the phrase “Kitto Katsu” means “sure to succeed” and KitKat used this phrase previously in its marketing. With this innovative idea, KitKat is encouraging their customers to buy their product and NOT throw away the wrapper, but make it into a paper crane, add their wish to its wings and then give it to someone else as a lucky charm. Beautiful!
  • Most importantly and hopefully, not many people will throw these wrappers away and will, instead, repurpose them :-).

Origami from KitKat

On a global level, Nestlé has committed to using 100% recyclable and reusable packaging by 2025. In July 2019 they announced the launch of their YES! snack bars in a new recyclable paper wrapper. In a breakthrough innovation, for the first time, this confectionery bar has been packaged in paper using a high-speed flow wrap technology. The wrapper is able to be recycled in the countries where it will be available. The paper is from sustainable sources, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. The technology was developed in the UK at Nestlé’s confectionery research and development centre in York and has been launched in 13 countries so far- including the UK.