Nestle wants to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, the Swiss food giant said today, becoming the latest food company to vow to reduce plastic waste. 

European governments have stepped up efforts to reduce plastic waste littering land and sea, and companies across the food supply chain are following suit.

UK supermarket chain Waitrose pledged this week to ban disposable coffee cups from its shops by this autumn. 

"Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today. Tackling it requires a collective approach," Nestle's chief executive Mark Schneider said in a statement. 

The world's biggest packaged food company said it would focus on eliminating non-recyclable plastics, encourage the use of plastics that allow better recycling rates and eliminate or change complex combinations of packaging materials. 

"We are working on changing the colours used for our plastic packaging. Lighter colours are easier to recycle," Nestle sustainability expert Duncan Pollard said. 

Nestle rival Unilever said last week it had struck a partnership to pioneer a new technology which converts PET (polyethylene terephthalate) waste back into virgin-grade material for use in food packaging. 

The company already committed last year to making all of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. 

Coffee chain Starbucks is also offering customers a discount on their drink if they bring in their own tumbler or cup. 

EU regulators have said they want to increase recycling of plastic, after China banned imports of "foreign garbage" from the start of 2018.