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  • Nutrition

Abbott is in the business of helping people live longer and better at all ages and stages of life through good health. Sustainability is an essential part of this, and an essential part of our mission.

Abbott’s four sustainability principles

Abbott’s four sustainability principles

Abbott’s nutrition business is committed to a sustainable future

Abbott’s nutrition business is doing its part to support our mission of sustainability. We are continuously evaluating ways to improve and offer innovative solutions that make a positive environmental and social impact.

Recycling at Abbott

We incorporate sustainability into the design of our paediatric and medical nutritional products and packaging to minimise their environmental impacts throughout the product lifecycle. This includes:

  • Choosing sustainable and renewable materials
  • Optimising design to reduce the use of materials and increase volumetric efficiency in shipping and storage (e.g., smaller bottles with Ensure Compact, reducing the cap weight of our powders, etc.)
  • Designing products to be more energy-efficient and that can be circulated back into the economy through reuse and recycling

Other initiatives:

We continuously seek sustainable packaging solutions that either eliminate packaging materials or ensure that packaging can be reused in our manufacturing processes. For example, we removed all plastic straws from the adult and paediatric reclosable plastic bottles manufactured in Europe, in order to reduce waste and single-use plastics. That’s 155 million fewer straws – saving 82 tonnes of plastic – a year.

To support our sustainability efforts, Abbott partners with our suppliers and companies like Tetra Pak, which is dedicated to creating renewable and/or recycled materials without compromising food safety requirements.

The range of Abbott oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and tube feeds across both paediatric and adult products are manufactured at a certified zero-waste-to-landfill site whereby the waste generated is either recycled or reused to produce electricity. Globally, we have now achieved zero waste to landfill at 32 sites in 16 countries, and our materials sent for reuse now exceed our total waste generated.

To minimise our environmental impact, the plastic used in the manufacture of all Abbott feed bottles is a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) monomer that can be widely recycled. Abbott FreeGo enteral feeding giving sets and flexitainers are DEHP (Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) and latex free; flexitainers have a recyclability level of 2 and giving sets (due to the combination of materials used) have a recycle grading of level 7.

We are committed to managing resource and ingredient use in an efficient, responsible manner. For example, since 2010, we have reduced our water intake by 27%.

Recycling plastic in the UK

Nearly all types of plastics can be recycled. However, the extent to which they are recycled depends on different factors. Plastics are a finite and valuable resource, so the best outcome after their initial use is typically to be recycled into a new product.1

Across the UK, nearly all councils provide plastics recycling collection. Once the plastic is collected and sent to a recycling centre, it is typically separated into different polymer types, which are then separately shredded then melted back into polymer pellets. These pellets are then to be used in new products.1

Recycling and other recovery processing routes help reduce environmental impacts.1

For more information on the recyclability of Abbott products, please contact the Abbott free nutrition helpline on 0800 252 882 or


  1. British Plastics Federation, 2020:
    Accessed August 2020.

Date of preparation September 2020 UK-N/A-2000133

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