Submitted by: SC Johnson
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 – 11:37 AM EST
New York, NY, Sep. 14 /CSRwire/ - With support from SC Johnson, Closed Loop Foundation, which is the independent 501c3 affiliate of Closed Loop Partners, announced key insights on how investors can advance film and flexible packaging recycling.
“Investors and supply chain leaders are looking for opportunities to catalyze recycling of flexible packaging, but there is a lack of real investable opportunities at the stage of commercialization. We identified a critical need to support the industry and investors by creating a roadmap for investing in flexible packaging,” says Rob Kaplan of Closed Loop Foundation.
The study characterizes the categories of flexible packaging and offers insights on challenges and trends to determine how investors can best impact this sector. Flexible packaging includes materials such as snack bags and pouches, which are growing in the market. “Even though more film and flexible packaging are produced than plastic bottles, recycling of those products far lags that of bottles – it is important that we capitalize on emerging technologies and develop markets for this under-recovered stream of materials” says Tim Buwalda, Senior Consultant at RSE USA, strategic partner and author of the study.
The study found the key opportunity for investors to make an impact is by investing in end market development to increase the value of these materials.
“IntegriCo Composites, an investment of the Closed Loop Fund, is a great example of a United States based manufacturer that is building the market by sourcing more multi-laminate flexible packaging and LDPE films into the feedstock of its railroad ties,” says Kaplan.
At the same time, emerging investment opportunities exist in the sorting and processing of flexible packaging, but philanthropic or research funding is still critical to test the most effective solutions and motivate the industry to consider how to incorporate flexible packaging into a thriving recycling system.
While retail collection remains a viable way to collect clean polyethylene film bags and wraps for recycling, it will struggle to reach scale. Recycling opportunities are needed for other flexible packaging materials. The study recognizes the crucial work of groups like MRF of the Future, DOW Energy Bag, and other MRF manufacturers that are testing ways to collect this material through the curbside residential recycling programs to ensure greater quantities of film plastics get recycled. That is why this study was important – to identify where the investment community could make the most significant impact while avoiding duplication of efforts.
“Research such as this shines the light on the current industry and the struggle with getting more flexible film to the curb. SC Johnson is committed to finding a solution that brings Ziploc® brand bags and other flexible films into the curbside recycling stream. While we know this is a long term endeavor, there is a way to accomplish this goal,” says Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability, SC Johnson
To view the study in its entirety, visit http://www.closedlooppartners.com/foundation
About Closed Loop Foundation
Closed Loop Foundation is an independent 501c3 organization supported by Closed Loop Partners, an investment platform that invests in sustainable consumer goods, advanced recycling technologies, and the development of the circular economy. To learn more about Closed Loop Foundation, go to our website: http://www.closedlooppartners.com/closed-loop-foundation/.
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