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Joining Circulate Capital in Latin America

Investment marks a significant step toward helping combat plastic pollution in Latin America

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

We are proud to reaffirm our goal to help create a more circular economy for plastic by joining once again with Circulate Capital, through its new initiative to combat plastic pollution and promote recycling businesses across Latin America and the Caribbean. As a participant in this initiative, Mondelēz International provides financial support that will help scale solutions focused initially in advancing a more circular economy for plastics in high-growth markets such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

This investment is part of Mondelēz International’s Sustainable Futures, an initiative launched in 2020 to incubate, finance and invest in systemic solutions that help drive positive social and environmental impact that lasts. Common themes are unlocking self-sustaining solutions that address climate change, packaging circularity, and build thriving communities where we live and work. One of the goals of this initiative 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. 

Circulate Capital is a leading environmental impact investor advancing the circular economy for plastics in high growth markets with a unique model that leverages the networks and expertise of its investors, which include some of the world's leading consumer packaged goods companies. In 2020, we partnered with Circulate Capital to provide financing to waste management, recycling and circular economy start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises across South and Southeast Asia. The new initiative will be supported by Circulate Capital’s experience, where it built the largest recycling portfolio in that region.

“With sustainability now elevated to the fourth pillar of Mondelēz International’s long term growth strategy, this investment re-affirms our focus and marks a pivotal step forward in our contribution to a more circular economy for plastics and is a clear demonstration of our long-term goal of net zero packaging waste,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mondelēz International, Inc. “As part of our ambition to lead a growing sustainable snacking company, this partnership will help provide mentoring and support to businesses in Latin America that are filling systemic gaps in the collection, sorting and reuse of plastic waste”, added Mariano Lozano, Executive Vice President and President Latin America at Mondelēz International. 

“Expanding our partnership with Mondelēz International showcases their commitment to combatting plastic pollution and strengthening the recycling value chain across the globe. With their support, we will scale solutions and support best-in-class recycling businesses across Latin America and the Caribbean to benefit its local communities and advance the circular economy,” said Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Circulate Capital. “Mondelēz and our corporate partners will play a critical role within our strategy to connect enterprises with the global supply chains that create the market opportunities necessary to make real systems change across the region.”

Progress, Programs & Partnerships

We have already made significant progress toward our packaging recyclability targets. We've removed 72,600 metric tonnes of packaging materials from our portfolio since 2013 and remains on track to achieve our 2025 goals to reduce virgin plastic use in rigid plastic packaging by 25%, reduce virgin plastic in overall plastic packaging portfolio by 5% (assuming constant portfolio mix compared to 2020), increase use of recycled content to 5% by weight across plastic packaging and design 100% of our packaging to be recyclable. To date, ~96% of all of the company’s packaging is designed to be recyclable (reported information covers the period from November 1, 2021 through October 31, 2022).

“Our support for a more sustainable future for plastics is clear. We’ve made significant strides to reduce plastic packaging use, substitute other materials for plastics, design to be recycle ready and set ambitious plastics packaging goals across our portfolio,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Impact and Sustainability Officer at Mondelēz International. “We are proud of our progress to date and we have a bold and targeted long-term focus on working toward net zero carbon and packaging waste by supporting circular economies.”

We already support 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 Mexico, we have made changes to local packaging in order to eliminate multi-materials that interfere with the recycling process and replaced them entirely with mono-materials that can more easily enter the recycling chain.
  • In Brazil, we invest in a more circular economy through programs that work directly with  more than 210 waste collection cooperatives, helping to generate jobs and income for approximately 5,000 people.
  • In Colombia, we are working with ANDI (National Industry Association) in the VISION 3030 program to collect packaging waste and create a better recycling environment in the country. In 2022, the program collected more than 58.000 tons of packaging waste. 

Additionally, we remain as 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.

Learn more about Circulate Capital's new initiative to combat plastic pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean.