Need to Know

Fortune 500 Brands & Corporate Foundations Extend Over $54 Million in Capital Commitments with Closed Loop Partners

Investment.png

New York, NY — Closed Loop Partners today announced that some of the world’s largest consumer brands and corporate foundations are extending more than $54 million in capital commitments with the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund (CLIF). This extension is testament to the progress CLIF has made over the last five years toward building a more circular economy and the sense of urgency from these brands to accelerate their circular economy goals and support the transformation of the recycling system.

Today, the original nine investors in the fund – 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Keurig Dr. Pepper, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and The Walmart Foundation – are extending their capital commitments, strengthening their investment in the infrastructure needed to build a more circular economy. Amazon, Danone North America, Danone Waters of America, Nestlé Waters North America and Starbucks have since joined the fund. Together, these companies’ major investments support additional recycling infrastructure and spur growth and technological innovation around end markets for post-consumer materials across North America. No company will be able to address the issue of plastic waste alone, and we need the industry to collectively work together to accelerate circular supply chains and keep materials in play.

With a global pandemic, growing climate risks and increasingly tighter municipal budgets, continued investment is critical to build our recovery infrastructure and economy back in a way that builds good job opportunities and safe and robust recovery systems to manage the critical inputs to product and packaging supply chains. And today, these brands show their shared commitment toward building back better and creating more efficient and effective systems to turn their product and packaging waste back into the inputs to future manufacturing.

The corporate investors in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund have proven the value created from investing in the circular economy. We invite other companies, brands and investors to join these industry leaders by investing with us in the infrastructure and technology needed to keep materials in manufacturing supply chains and out of landfills and marine environments – Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners.

The initial investment from these brands has already leveraged more than $200 million in co-investment, supporting the development of domestic recycling infrastructure, local jobs and new markets in cities across the country, including:

  • Eureka Recycling, Minneapolis, Minnesota: A locally operated nonprofit social enterprise, Eureka recovers nearly 100,000 tons of primarily residential recycling per year. This diverts valuable material from the incinerator or landfill and protects the health and environment of the local community. Eureka prides itself on its best-in-class operation, producing high quality material; the facility has one of the lowest contamination rates in the country. Eighty percent of the facility’s material stays in Minnesota and ninety percent in the Midwest, further spurring local growth. Eureka Recycling works everyday to demonstrate that waste is preventable not inevitable.
  • Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), Florida: Since building its own state-of-the-art single stream facility, the ECUA materials recovery facility has become an asset for a region that had not previously had a long-term or reliable solution for processing recyclables. The facility generates economic benefits in the form of avoided tipping fees and revenue from commodity sales. For the 21-month period starting in January 2017, the facility generated $4.2 million in economic benefits. To date, the facility has operated at a profit margin between 10% and 30%, which gives ECUA capital to invest in other critical water, sewage, and solid waste infrastructure and programs.
  • TemperPack, Virginia: On the forefront of materials science innovation, TemperPack manufactures proprietary plant and fiber-based insulated packaging solutions for cold chain shipments, perishable food and pharmaceuticals. Their products replace the need for styrofoam, a type of plastic that contaminates recycling facilities. Instead, TemperPack’s solutions are certified curbside recyclable, bringing value to recovery systems across the U.S. as their materials are kept in circulation.

Today’s reinvestment announcement builds on the success of these projects and will fund similar projects to accelerate and build circular supply chains. Thirty-seven of the world’s largest consumer brands and retailers, including many of those fueling this investment, have made public commitments to use recycled plastics in their packaging within the next ten years. This signals the opportunity to shift billions of dollars from the “take, make, waste” linear supply chain to circular supply chains. Current projections indicate new real demand of 5 million to 7.5 million metric tons of recycled content by 2030, requiring an increase of supply of 200-300%. It will only be possible to meet this need through greater collective investment from brands to move technology along faster.

Brands and investors interested in learning more about CLIF or getting involved should contact admin@closedlooppartners.com.

Need to Know

Keep America Beautiful Joins SoulBuffalo’s Ocean Plastics Leadership Network as Nonprofit Member

SoulBuffalo OceanPlastic.png

STAMFORD, Conn. (June 30, 2020) – Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s premier community improvement nonprofit organization, today announced it has joined SoulBuffalo’s Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN), a global community of retailers, brands, NGOs and alliances committed to developing new approaches, innovations and solutions-based projects to address the impacts of plastic waste. 

The organizations unite along the common goal of ending littering, with a specific focus on plastics in our oceans. This partnership will promote major volunteer engagement events including National Clean Beaches Week, which takes place July 1-7, and the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup®, which normally takes place during the spring months (March 19-June 20) but has been extended through Oct. 18 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many Keep America Beautiful community-based affiliates will be conducting beach and coastal cleanups throughout the year.

“Keep America Beautiful believes in tri-sector partnerships for social good, where government entities, corporations, and NGOs work together to solve problems,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “We are excited to partner with the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network and collaborate with its prominent list of members in seeking solutions to address the ocean plastics crisis.”

Founded in 2003 by the Clean Beaches Coalition, National Clean Beaches Week focuses on appreciating and respecting our nation's beaches. Known as the Earth Day for beaches, hundreds of events are organized throughout the country in celebration of National Clean Beaches Week, from beach cleanups to educational programs.

SoulBuffalo’s OPLN launched in January 2020 with the introduction of its online community and leadership network available at OceanPlasticsLeadershipNetwork.com. The OPLN features industry news, tools, and research from experts and advocates to advance innovative solutions and projects that reduce plastic waste. OPLN currently includes more than 60 members committed to collaborative solutions, including organizations representing the development, distribution, purchase, retail use, and recycling of plastic products.

“We're excited to have Keep America Beautiful, with a robust network of partners of its own, into the SoulBuffalo - Ocean Plastics Leadership Network,” said Dave Ford, co-founder of SoulBuffalo. “Keep America Beautiful's dedication to keeping the environment pristine is aligned with our mission, and essential to both inspiring and capturing the hearts and minds of consumers around the world."

In addition to being a member of OPLN, Keep America Beautiful is also a founding member of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance, as well as a partner of Earth Day Network on its Great Global Cleanup.

About Keep America Beautiful 
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. 

The Keep America Beautiful Model for Change – steeped in education, research, and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice, and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 650 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org

###

Contacts 
Tiffany Telemaque / Larry Kaufman 
DKC / Keep America Beautiful 
301.802.6270 / 203.659.3014 
tiffany_telemaque@dkcnews.com / lkaufman@kab.org
dkcnews.com / kab.org 

Need to Know

New Eco-Friendly, Flame-Retardant Carbon Plastic Created

phys.org Eco-Friendly-Carbon-Plastic.png

A research team from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology’s (KIST) Institute of Advanced Composite Materials has created a flame-retardant carbon-fiber-reinforced composite material (CFRP).

CFRP is a composite material that contains carbon fiber and is widely used in the aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding and sports equipment industries. 

Head researcher Dr. Yong chae Jung said, "We have created a composite material with an expanded range of application that is a dramatic improvement over conventional carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in terms of flame-retardancy, mechanical rigidity, and recyclability. These improved traits are significant in that they determine the range of application of said composite material." He added, "We will be reviewing the structure of this composite material to achieve even further improved properties and to further expand the range of its application."

Read the original story here.

 

Need to Know

Study: Americans Are Squandering a Fortune by Stashing Old Devices

electronic-waste.png

Americans are sitting on a gold mine of unused digital devices, but time is sucking its value away daily.

A recent study by Decluttr, an online business that helps people unload their old digital devices, estimates the total value of phones, computers, tablets, and gaming consoles stashed away by Americans at $43 billion.

Other tidbits uncovered by Decluttr:

  • That $43 billion stash will depreciate in value by $11 billion over the next 12 months.
  • The value of a typical mobile device depreciates by 36% annually.
  • The average American has $199 worth of digital devices collecting dust in his or her home.
  • Four in five people in the U.S. have a mobile phone they’re not using.
  • The average person holds onto a cell phone for more than a year after they’ve stopped using it.

Read the original article here.

Thinking Outside the Box

paperrecycles.org ThinkingOutsideoftheBox.png

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down, changing our lives forever. We’ve quarantined to slow down the transfer of the virus, and we’ve relied on online shopping to provide us with groceries and other essential supplies.

The corrugated containerboard boxes in which merchandise arrives are an important part of the story. Strong, lightweight and cost-effective, corrugated material makes these boxes perfect for protecting, storing and transporting goods.

Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association, the national trade association of the paper and wood products industry, says, “These boxes combine rigidity with cushioning qualities, making them perfect to be used to protect, store and transport a variety of goods, from the items you buy online that arrive on your doorstep to bulk produce delivered to your local grocery and large, fragile items such as televisions and appliances.”

The corrugated board packaging market is expected to reach $339.95 billion by 2025, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com. This suggests that there are more corrugated box deliveries in the future for many of us.

“Boxes are innovative by design,” Brock added. With continued demand for corrugated boxes, the industry has created innovative processes that go into shaping the boxes used for deliveries. For instance, box manufacturers are now able to separate the hard wood and soft wood fibers, and they can puff air to give it more bulk to use less paper per square inch, ultimately delivering a better product.

The best part about the boxes is that they are made from renewable, recyclable material and can be used repeatedly to make new products. Corrugated boxes are the most recycled packaging material in the U.S. Nearly half of the material used nationwide to make new boxes comes from paper recovered for recycling.

Corrugated material can also be recycled to make products used inside and outside the home. Approximately 80% of U.S. paper mills use recovered fiber to make paper-based products. Among other applications, these recycled fibers are used to make recycled paperboard packaging such as shoe boxes and cereal boxes. For old corrugated containers, the industry has met or exceeded a recycling rate of 82% since 2009.

Recycling corrugated boxes is easy. All you need to do is empty, collapse and flatten the boxes. The next time you receive a delivery, keep these tips from the American Forest & Paper Association in mind.

  1. Remove any non-paper box packing materials such as packing peanuts, air pillows or Styrofoam.
  2. You don’t need to worry about removing tape or labels from the packaging. They will be removed in the recycling process.
  3. If your box is dented, bent, ripped or damaged, that’s OK.
  4. To save space, collapse and flatten corrugated boxes before placing them in a recycling bin or cart.
  5. It’s important to keep the boxes clean and dry.