VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — As part of its mission to reduce single-use packaging among its consumer brands, Nestlé is piloting reusable, refillable pet food and coffee dispensers at select Nestlé stores in three Switzerland cities.

A previous four-month pilot program was introduced in Rorschach, Orbe and La Tour-de-Peilz. The program’s success has led Nestlé to begin rolling out the dispensers in more locations over the next several months.

"Packaging plays a key role in maintaining food safety during a product’s shelf life,” said Hélène Lanctuit, head of packaging research and development at Nestlé. “This means that whenever new packaging systems are explored we need to ensure that our products can be delivered to consumers in a safe and hygienic manner. These dispensers are novel because they incorporate smart technology which allows us to ensure product safety, and also guarantee the freshness and traceability of our products."

Consumers can bring their own packages to the store to fill with pet food and coffee products, eliminating the need for individual packages. With this solution, shoppers can access product information typically displayed on packages digitally, including ingredients, nutritional content and shelf-life details.

The initial pilot program in Switzerland was conducted in collaboration with MIWA, a technology start-up producing point-of-sale solutions for refillable product dispensers and reusable packaging.

Nestlé has also tested similar solutions for its water segment, and plans to roll out products through Loop, a subscription-based home delivery service featuring reusable packaging, in the United States and France.

"At Purina, our teams are focused on designing our products and packaging for a more sustainable future,” said Bernard Meunier, chief executive officer of Nestlé Purina Petcare’s Zone EMENA, which includes Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. “This pilot marks an important step forward in our efforts towards waste reduction and we are proud to play a leading role in testing these innovative dispensers. Offering pet owners the option of using safe reusable and refillable dispensers in-store can help us improve our environmental impact while still providing great quality nutrition for pets."

The company aims to transition to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, as well as reducing its use of virgin plastics by one-third.

Read more about sustainability in the pet food and treat supply chain.