Quality Street switches to paper wrappers

Jo Francis
Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Tubs of Quality Street could contain a mixture of paper and cellulose wrapped sweets this Christmas as Nestlé rolls out new recyclable paper wraps on the iconic festive staple.

Quality Street was originally launched in 1936
Quality Street was originally launched in 1936

Nestlé Confectionery said the switch to paper packaging for the twist-wrapped sweets was a “category first”.

The new paper wrappers have been developed at Nestlé’s R&D centre in York.

The paper has a vegetable-based coating “which does not hinder the recycling process”.

Nine out of the 11 Quality Street sweets will become paper wrapped, while the Green Triangle and Orange Crunch retain their current foil wrappers.

The move follows that of sister brand Smarties, which rolled out recyclable paper packaging across its entire product range worldwide last year. 

Quality Street tubs are already in the shops for Christmas 2022. Nestlé said the transition to paper from the existing foil and cellulose double wrap was already underway, but would take several months to complete.

“This means that for Christmas 2022, consumers will find a mix of both the old and new wrappers in their Quality Street cartons, pouches, tubs, and tins. The delicious mix of sweets inside is unchanged.”

At the same time, Nestlé also announced new KitKat wrappers made with 80% recycled plastic.

The wrappers can be recycled at more than 5,000 collection points for plastics at supermarkets across the UK, while it is expected that local authorities will add soft plastics such as plastic wrappers to their household recycling collections in future years – something that is already the case in most of the Republic of Ireland.

The new-style wrappers

Nestlé said the changes to Quality Street and KitKat would remove 3bn pieces of packaging from its supply chain.

The KitKat rollout begins this month on the two-finger products, with the entire range to follow by 2024.

The food giant has pledged to achieve 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025, with at least 30% recycled content in any plastics used. It is investing as much as £1.6bn in sustainable packaging solutions and the move to food-grade recycled plastics.

Nestlé is also investing £1.65m in a flexible plastic recycling plant in Fife.  

The Switzerland-headquartered group had sales of CHF87.1bn (£77.7bn) last year. 

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