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Smarties celebrates sustainable packaging milestone with artist collab

Earlier this year, popular confectionery brand Nestlé Smarties globally announced its switch to 100% recyclable paper packaging. The sustainable packaging solution was introduced in South Africa in March, and to celebrate this milestone, Nestlé South Africa has collaborated with contemporary recycling artist, Mbongeni Buthelezi on a #SmartiesCreateWithPurpose campaign.

Smarties celebrates sustainable packaging milestone with artist collab

The collaboration is intended to drive the Smarties brand’s #SmartiesCreateWithPurpose narrative which aims to inspire conscious creativity by using recyclable goods. Buthelezi was briefed to design a digital guide for caregivers to follow in creating fun origami pieces using the brand’s recyclable paper.

“Essentially, the purpose of the collaboration is for Buthelezi, through his craft, to inspire and stimulate creativity among South Africans, through his use of the Nestlé Smarties new 100% recyclable packaging. We hope that caregivers and their children will find it fun and an engaging way to educate children on planet sustainability issues through the creative expressions in repurposing the paper packaging,” says Alex Villela, business executive officer, confectionery at Nestlé South Africa.


Buthelezi is well known as a firm advocate of using his creativity and imagination in a purposeful manner that seeks to preserve our environment. He uses his artwork to actively promote change in an artistic way, well-known as activism art in which he uses recyclable material in his creations. He is convinced that by telling his story and depicting his history through his artwork, he can change the path of the younger artists who will follow him.

“Working with Nestlé Smarties is a great achievement for me as an artist. The entire campaign narrative and mandate purely speaks to what my work and I stand for. Being able to curate art pieces for children using the Nestlé Smarties new 100% recyclable paper packaging has been an exciting yet challenging task for me as an artist,” shares Buthelezi.


RE sustainability initiative


The move to 100% recyclable paper illustrates the brand’s goal to transform its packaging to be more environmentally friendly. It also brings to life the ‘Repurpose’ pillar of the Nestlé ‘RE’ sustainability initiative.

“The repurpose pillar speaks to an approach, where as a company and through our brands, we believe we need to move away from the idea of waste and apply circular economy principles of finding new use of ‘waste’ materials into the creation of new things. We are proud that Nestlé Smarties is a tangible proof point of this approach,” adds Villela.

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