Nestlé, the maker of Quality Street, is to axe the plastic wrappers on its chocolates in a bid to stop over two billion wrappers a year from ending up in landfill sites.
The switch will happen over the next few months, and fans of the chocolates will find a mix of old and new wrappers in their tins during the changeover.
The change marks the first move away from the rustling, shiny plastic wrappers for the brand in 86 years since Harold Mackintosh launched the brand in 1936.
Family favourites such as the Strawberry Delight will still be encased in their iconic jewel-coloured wrapping, but instead of being coated in plastic, the chocolates will be packaged in vegetable-based wax paper.
The specially designed vegetable-based coating is designed to keep the confectionary fresh without hindering the recycling process. Nestlé said it believed people would respond “positively” when it unveils the new plastic-free wrappings in the coming weeks.
All nine of the currently plastic-based wrappers will move to the new wrapping, although the Green Triangle and Orange Crunch will remain in foil packaging as they have never had a plastic outer layer.
Head of sustainability at Nestlé Cheryl Allen, said: “Quality Street is a brand that people feel very strongly about.
“We know that opening the lid and seeing ‘the jewels’, as we call them, is really important.
“We think we’ve done a really good job with the redesign and feel confident that people will respond positively.”
Around 1.7 billion Quality Street chocolates are enjoyed every year in the UK – many of which are consumed over the festive period.
For several years, Nestlé has been working to reduce packaging and food waste across its products. On its company profile on the Nestlé website, the organisation says: “Packaging helps protect food and beverages, ensure product quality and safety, communicate nutritional information and prevent food waste.
“However, these essential requirements should not come at the expense of the planet. That’s why we are continually developing more sustainable packaging and committed to reducing waste from packaging.”
Nestlé said it was also switching KitKat wrappers to 80% recycled plastic that could be recycled at supermarkets across the UK or put in household recycling in Ireland.
Helen Bird, at the government-backed recycling body Wrap, added: “We welcome these new initiatives from Nestlé, founding members of the UK Plastics Pact, to improve the recyclability of Quality Street and using advanced recycling technology to include recycled plastic into its KitKat packaging – something we need to significantly ramp up in the UK, and across the world. We look forward to further rollout.”