Mondelēz International Invests in Circulate Capital’s Ocean Fund to Advance Global Efforts in Plastic Waste Collection and Recycling
The Philippines,— Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) today advanced its commitment to helping create a circular economy for plastic by joining Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF) as a limited partner and making an investment in CCOFsupportingscalable business solutions to help develop infrastructure for the collecting, sorting and recycling of plastic waste, including flexible films. The goal of this investment, which is part of Mondelēz International’s Sustainable Futures impact investing platform, is to enhance focus on the physical collection of flexible films – lightweight, multi-layer plastics used by the snacking industry – that have traditionally been more difficult to collect, sort, recycle and ultimately reuse.
CCOF is an investment fund dedicated to addressing India and Southeast Asia’s plastics challenges, and its investors include some of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies. The fund provides financing to waste management, recycling, and circular economy start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises across India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. CCOF helps identify collection and recycling solutions, catalyzes capital to both scales and replicate those solutions, and connects these enterprises to the world’s leading companies. Mondelēz International’s investment in CCOFis expected to finance enterprises that support the company’s goal to collect more plastic waste than the company currently produces across India and Southeast Asia and will further CCOF’s investments into flexible plastic waste collection, recycling, and infrastructure enterprises.
“This investment marks a pivotal step forward in our contribution to a circular economy for plastics and is a clear demonstration of our long-term goal of net-zero waste,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mondelēz International, Inc. “As part of our ambition to become a more sustainable snacking company, this partnership will help fund businesses that are trying to fill systemic gaps in the collection, sorting and reuse of plastic waste, including flexible film.”
“We are excited to partner with Mondelēz International, a world leader in the food and beverage industry. Their investment in the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund will enable us to put more capital to work by funding enterprises located in South and Southeast Asia with innovative solutions to combat plastic waste and advance the circular economy,” said Rob Kaplan, Founder, and CEO of Circulate Capital. “Adding Mondelēz International to our esteemed list of global partners is a reflection of the significant impact our portfolio companies have made thus far. This additional catalytic capital will also help CCOF reach our expected environmental and economic impacts by 2030 which includes the prevention of more than 13 million tonnes of plastic pollution leakage and at least 17 million tonnes of CO2e avoided.”
Progress, Programs & Partnerships
Mondelēz International has already made significant progress toward its packaging recyclability targets. The company has removed 65,000 tons of packaging from its portfolio since 2013 and remains on track to achieve its 2025 goals to reduce virgin plastic use in rigid plastic packaging by 25% or reduce virgin plastic in the overall plastic packaging portfolio by 5%, assuming constant portfolio mix compared to 2020, increasing use of recycled content to 5% by weight across plastic packaging and design 100% of its packaging to recycle ready. To date, ~94% of all of the company’s packaging is designed to be recycle-ready.
“Our support for a more sustainable future for plastics is clear. We’ve made significant strides to reduce plastic packaging use, substitute plastics for other materials, design to recycling ready and set ambitious plastics packaging goals across our portfolio,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, VP and Chief of Global Impact and Sustainability, Mondelēz International. “We are proud of our progress to date but know more must be done through innovative partnerships and investments like this one to be able to scale more sustainable solutions for plastics packaging, including flexible film.”
Mondelēz International already supports initiatives promoting a circular economy for plastics with programs underway across multiple markets demonstrating a strategic focus on less, better, and improved plastic packaging and systems. For example:
- In India, Mondelēz International, in partnership with Sustainable Futures, made a seed investment into Hasiru Dala, an NGO, to create a social enterprise to sort, clean, and recycle flexible plastic waste into more sustainable everyday products and targets to recycle 600 tons of multi layered plastics every year. The project implements recycling technology purchased from a local start-up and, together, these women-led local businesses positively impact the local economy through job creation.
- In the Philippines, Mondelēz International is working with several organizations to recycle and co-process multi-layer and single use plastics and is collaborating with small enterprises focused on a circular economy for plastics. In 2021 we collected and diverted 172,489 kilos of plastic waste in the country.
- In Indonesia, a waste bank project is ongoing in two schools to help educate children on the importance of collecting and recycling waste. The goal is to recycleplastic into construction material and use it to help renovate schools.
- In United Kingdom and Australia, as part of Mondelēz International’s global goal to reduce the use of virgin plastic material in its overall plastic packaging portfolio by 5% by 2025, compared to 2020, selectCadbury Dairy Milk will be made with packaging containing up to 30% recycled plastic material starting in 2022.
“In Southeast Asia, the issue of marine litter is a complex one that requires the contributions of all private and government stakeholders,” adds Glenn Caton, Southeast Asia President of Mondelēz International. “There needs to be concentrated effort to build infrastructures for collecting and diverting waste. As well as growing the market for recyclables, to make collecting and recycling them cheaper and easier. Because the problem is so systemic, we are working with industry and stakeholder groups to identify the barriers in the local community, working with legislators to create equitable policies which support plastic collection industries, and supporting small enterprises to help grow the circular economy, where plastic is used as a resource rather than viewed as waste.”
Mondelēz International is an active participant in the Consumer Goods Forum Plastic Coalition of Action, the Business Call for a Global UN Treaty on Plastics Pollution, the U.S. Plastics Pact, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, the New Plastics Economy Initiative, the European CFLEX Initiative, the UK Plastics Pact and the UK Flexible Plastic Fund (formerly known as EPPIC), the India Plastics Pact and the Australia/New Zealand Plastics Pact, among others.