Plastics Recycling Update

Circulate Capital, Closed Loop announce investments

Infusions of cash are going toward recovery in North America and infrastructure in South America. | Pichetw/Shutterstock

Two organizations focused on making the plastics supply chain more circular recently shared some investment news.

Closed Loop Partners received a $10 million investment into its Circular Plastics Fund to improve recovery and recycling of PE and PP, while Circulate Capital is investing $65 million into recycling infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean.

An infusion from Asia

The Circular Plastics Fund investment, which comes from Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, is targeted at rigid and flexible PE and PP in the U.S. and Canada. The Circular Plastics Fund uses debt and equity financing to spark mainstream investments into recovery and recycling infrastructure. 

In the past, companies such as Dow, LyondellBasell, NOVA Chemicals, Charter Next Generation and Chevron Phillips Chemical have also contributed to the fund. Projects the Circular Plastics Fund has invested in since its inception in 2021 include Circular Services ,AI waste analytics platform Greyparrot, Myplas USA’s film recycling plant in Minnesota and optical sorters for the Waste Commission of Scott County, Iowa.

A press release noted that, to date, Closed Loop Partners has kept 4.8 million tons of materials in circulation. 

Scaling up in South America

In other circular investment news, Circulate Capital invested $65 million into an initiative meant to scale up recycling solutions and infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean. The funds came from the Inter-American Development Bank Group’s IDB Lab, Builders Vision, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Danone, Dow, Mondelēz International and Unilever, a press release noted.

The initiative will initially focus on Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, before expanding to include other countries. Circulate Capital did more than two years of research in the region.

Rob Kaplan, CEO and founder of Circulate Capital, said the company will apply the lessons it has learned from similar work in South and Southeast Asia. 

“We are confident that we can support solutions in Latin America’s high-growth markets to create circularity at scale,” Kaplan said. “Our corporate partners will also play a critical, strategic role in helping best-in-class recyclers to connect with global supply chains, and we look forward to their collaboration.”

Ernesto Hanhausen, Circulate Capital’s investment coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted in the press release that scaling the recycling supply chain “will be an important way to fight climate change as well as enable the creation of safe and dignified jobs.”

“I’ve seen firsthand here on the ground in Latin America the cost of inaction to mitigate the plastic waste crisis in the region – but the problem is far from insurmountable,” Hanhausen said.

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