FINLAND – Huhtamaki, a global food and drinks packaging firm based in Finland, will be donating EUR 3 million (US$3.28 million) towards circular economy initiatives aimed at addressing global sustainability challenges.

The donation, which come at the heights of the company’s celebration of its 100-year anniversary, will be used to fund innovative and emerging technologies to clean plastic waste as well as providing education and training on waste management.

“We are acting today, educating for tomorrow and funding innovation for the future, making a difference where it matters most to help address global sustainability challenges and build circular economy initiatives,” the company said.

Huhtamaki said that it will channeling EUR 0.6 million of the kitty to clean plastic waste from Mithi river in Mumbai, India. The project is also working towards raising awareness on effective waste management.

According to a statement issued by the company, the funds will be donated to a partnership consisting of United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a Finnish cleantech start-up RiverRecycle and an India-based citizen-led environmental movement Earth5R.

In addition, the Finish company is donating EUR 0.9 million to UK waste management charity WasteAid to fund projects that will provide education and training on waste management and circular systems in South Africa, Vietnam, and India.

WasteAid is an independent UK charity, set up by waste management professionals to share waste management know-how with communities in low-income countries.

Huhtamaki is also availing EUR 1 million to Food System 6, a non-profit accelerator focused on innovations for food and agriculture to bolster investments and innovation for a circular economy through the set-up of the start-up cohort program.

The company, which recently unveiled its renewed long-term 2030 strategy and sustainability ambitions, said that the funds will be used to surface and support early stage solutions for a circular economy, via organizing a start-up cohort program.

Huhtamaki has also announced a donation to the International Red Cross to boost COVID-19 emergency relief efforts in Asia and Europe and improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.

“We want to make a difference, where it matters most. We made a first donation in support of the International Red Cross’ work to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to provide immediate help,” says Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki.

“The three other projects are in line with our ambitious sustainability strategy with the aim of creating a circular economy at different levels: acting today, educating for tomorrow and innovating for the future.

“With these donations we celebrate our centennial by giving back and investing in a sustainable future.”

By 2030, the Finish packaging supplier has set a goal to become carbon neutral in its production and adopt science based targets, make 100% of its products recyclable, compostable or reusable an further source 100% of fiber from recycled or certified sources.