Circular economy investment firm Closed Loop clinches US$30m investment from Nestlé

USA – Nestlé through its packaging venture fund has invested US$30 million in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, to upgrade U.S. recycling infrastructure and secure access to food-grade recycled plastics.

Closed Loop Leadership Fund is a private equity fund of circular economy investment firm Closed Loop Partners.

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The fund invests in companies that aim to increase recycling rates in the U.S. and keep valuable materials in packaging supply chains by integrating and improving all aspects of supply chains, from access, collection, sortation to processing.

The new investment acquired will be used to finance the fund’s acquisition of well-established, best-in-class companies that are advancing the circular economy in the country as it aims to increase recycling rates by an additional 25% in areas serviced by the portfolio companies.

“Nestlé’s investment is a significant commitment to help modernize, optimize and capitalize circular economy infrastructure in the U.S. and harness innovative technologies to keep materials in manufacturing supply chains,” said Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners.

“In addition to the investment, Nestlé has committed to create an end-market for the food-grade recycled plastics processed through the companies we acquire. This will enable us to fully close the loop on valuable materials,” he added.

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Nestlé’s packaging venture fund established earlier this year, is part of the company’s overall investment of up to CHF  2 billion (US$2.1m) to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions.

By investing in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, Nestlé will have access to recycled plastics feedstock processed by companies in which the Fund will invest in order to achieve greater volumes of food-grade recycled plastics for its packaging.

“This investment is one of many solutions we are exploring to address the global plastic waste challenge,” said Véronique Cremades-Mathis, Global Head of Sustainable Packaging, Nestlé.

Nestlé is seeking to reduce use of virgin plastic by one third by 2025.

“It is important that we do our part to help keep recyclable materials out of landfills, and increase recycling rates in the U.S., and this investment is a significant move in that direction.

“It is also a critical step in our effort to secure access to high-quality, food-grade recycled plastics which can be converted into new packaging material for use across our product portfolio,” said Steve Presley, Chairman & CEO of Nestlé USA.

As consumer interest in more sustainable packaging continues to grow and manufacturers compete for supply, having access to high-quality food-grade recycled PET, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) will increase Nestlé’s ability to incorporate recycled plastics into packaging across its food and beverage portfolio.

The food company uses PET in bottles for Coffee mate and Starbucks creamers, in trays for Stouffer’s entrees, and across its bottled water portfolio which has doubled the amount of rPET used since 2019 across its still water portfolio in the U.S. to 16.5%.

The increasing use of recycled plastics will help reduce carbon footprint, aligned with the company’s ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This announcement builds on Nestlé Waters North America’s US$ 6 million investment in Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund, which finances recycling programs and infrastructure improvements to create a circular economy in the U.S.

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