Nestlé have announced that they are pushing hard in 2019 to make more of their products plastic free. From early this year plastic straws provided with Nescafé drink products will be phased out and replaced either with waxed paper straws or redesigned drinks packaging. The specific public commitment announced this month to making Smarties range plastic free must relate to either the very large “Christmas” tubes or external bulk packaging as I was surprised just how long it is since the demise of the small Smartie tube and plastic lid.
For many of us of a certain age “Karate chopping” the empty Smartie tube to project with some force the plastic lid towards the back of the head of someone sitting in front of you in class with loud and familiar “pop” was the highlight of Smartie consumption. For many years the plastic Smartie lids were not only of multiple colours, many of them had a letter of the alphabet printed on the inside and I vaguely remember in the 1960’s them being swapped around in the playground much like cigarette and PG Tips cards.
Look just how quickly the years have flown by since the familiar tube and plastic cap were phased out and replaced with a thinner all paper “hexatube” packet. My initial guess was around 5 years back, but it was actually February 2005, a full 14 years ago, that the change was announced.
In 2005 there was not even a passing reference from Nestlé about removing the plastic lid from Smartie packaging to save the planet, it was all about the tactile feel of the hexatube with its multiple edges and a new end that didn’t open quite so easily, plus their desire to “keep the brand packaging fresh and interesting”! The familiar tube had lasted a full 68 years until this change and sadly the new ones didn’t pop either!!
Written by: Colin from KSV.