Mondelēz Invests To Advance Plastic Waste Collection, Recycling

Chicago — Mondelēz International, Inc. has joined Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF) as a limited partner and made an investment in CCOF supporting scalable 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, the company explains.

CCOF is an investment fund that addresses India and Southeast Asia’s plastics challenges, with investors that 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. Mondelēz’s investment is expected to finance enterprises that support the company’s goal to collect more plastic waste than it 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,” says Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz. “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,” says 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.”

Mondelēz has made progress toward its packaging recyclability targets. The company reports it 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 percent or reduce virgin plastic in overall plastic packaging portfolio by 5 percent, assuming constant portfolio mix compared to 2020, increase use of recycled content to 5 percent by weight across plastic packaging and design 100 percent of its packaging to be recycle ready. To date, it claims ~94 percent of all its 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 be recycle ready and set ambitious plastics packaging goals across our portfolio,” says Christine Montenegro McGrath, VP and chief of global impact and sustainability, Mondelēz. “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.”