Nestlé announced today that its popular Smarties brand is now using recyclable paper packaging for its confectionery products worldwide.

This represents a transition of 90% of the Smarties range, as 10% was previously already packed in recyclable paper packaging.

According to Nestlé, Smarties is the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging, removing approximately 250 million plastic packs sold globally every year.

The new Smarties paper packaging is reportedly sourced sustainably and is made of a coated paper, paper labels, and carton board. Information about how to properly dispose of the packs is also included on its labels with the aim of raising consumer awareness.

Nestlé says that it invested “significantly” to upgrade its factories globally, including in Hamburg, Germany – one of the company's largest factories for confectionery products.

Alexander von Maillot, global head of confectionery at Nestlé, said: "Shifting Smarties packaging to recyclable paper is one of our key sustainable packaging initiatives in the confectionery category. It is a further step in realizing Nestlé's ambition to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one-third in the same period."

Louise Barrett, head of the Nestlé Confectionery Product Technology Centre, added: "Developing safe and convenient paper-based solutions for Smarties has required the pioneering of new materials and testing by Nestlé packaging experts at our R&D Center for confectionery in York, UK and the Swiss-based Institute of Packaging Sciences.

“We adapted our existing manufacturing lines to allow for the careful handling that is required for paper, while also ensuring recyclability across all new formats."

The transformation of the Smarties packaging is one of the brands' 'SMART Initiatives', which aim to support sustainability and enhance the overall product experience.