USA: PepsiCo Beverages Invests in Closed Loop Local Recycling Fund

In January this year, PepsiCo Beverages North America announced a 35 million US-Dollar investment with Closed Loop Partners that will create the “Closed Loop Local Recycling Fund”.

According to the New York-based investment firm Closed Loop Partners, the new fund, which is dedicated to recycling, is a circular economy initiative to advance new small-scale, modular recycling systems in communities across the USA. “The fund aims to increase recycling in areas with no or limited access to recycling, reducing waste and unlocking a new supply of recycled plastic (rPET), among other valuable materials, to support PepsiCo’s pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) sustainable packaging goals.”

The investment company would use the investment to deploy small-scale modular materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in underserved communities. “This gap in access is typically due to a lack of funding or geographic proximity to facilities that process the materials,” Closed Loop Partners described the situation. “The smaller, local MRFs lay the groundwork for the future of recycling, introducing a new way to meet and adapt to the various needs of communities across the U.S.

These modular recycling systems are smaller and less capital intensive than traditional large-scale recycling facilities, reducing the need for the costly transportation of recycled materials to larger MRFs outside of the area.” The small-scale MRFs would help recapture recyclables like paper, plastic, glass, and metals, reducing waste sent to landfill and unlocking a new supply of recycled materials. “Each individual system creates the capacity to recycle at least 8,000 tons per year of materials, including keeping 400 tons of rPET in circulation every year.” The plants were also expected to yield higher quality plastic while also reducing the costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the longer distance transportation of the materials.

As underlined, PepsiCo’s investment would reinforce the company’s desire to create a world “where packaging never becomes waste and to increase recycling rates in the United States”. It would aim to support PepsiCo’s goal to cut virgin plastic from non-renewable sources across its food and beverage portfolios by 50 percent by 2030.

As the Closed Loop Local Recycling Fund begins investing in community recycling, municipalities across the U.S. – as well as local haulers – can reach out to Closed Loop Partners if they are interested in exploring a small-scale, modular MRF in their community.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2022, Page 6, Photo: O. Kürth)