Nestlé announced an investment of $30 million in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, the private equity fund of circular economy investment firm Closed Loop Partners. The fund aims to lead the shift from virgin plastics to the use of food-grade recycled plastics in the U.S. The food and drink giant also announced new sustainable packaging initiatives, aimed to further the company’s goal of making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Steve Presley, Chairman & CEO of Nestlé USA, said:

“It is important that we do our part to help keep recyclable materials out of landfills, and increase recycling rates in the U.S., and this investment is a significant move in that direction. It is also a critical step in our effort to secure access to high-quality, food-grade recycled plastics which can be converted into new packaging material for use across our product portfolio.”

The investment in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund represents the first from Nestlé’s CHF 250 million packaging venture fund, launched earlier this year, aiming to invest in startups that will drive the shift from virgin plastic packaging to food-grade recycled plastics and the development of other sustainable packaging solutions. The venture fund was established as part of a CHF 2 billion ($2.1 billion) investment commitment the company made to develop sustainable packaging.

Véronique Cremades-Mathis, Global Head of Sustainable Packaging, Nestlé, said:

“This investment is one of many solutions we are exploring to address the global plastic waste challenge. It will help create a more sustainable recycling system and, at the same time, assist us in achieving our commitment to reduce our use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025. This is particularly important as increasing the use of recycled plastics could substantially reduce the environmental impact of our packaging.”

Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners, said:

“Nestlé’s investment is a significant commitment to help modernize, optimize and capitalize circular economy infrastructure in the U.S. and harness innovative technologies to keep materials in manufacturing supply chains. In addition to the investment, Nestlé has committed to create an end-market for the food-grade recycled plastics processed through the companies we acquire. This will enable us to fully close the loop on valuable materials.”

Nestlé also announced additional sustainable packaging initiatives, including a refillable system for pet food in Chile, a first-of-its-kind recyclable paper packaging for Maggi bouillon cubes in France, and the establishment of the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, which, in partnership with non-profit Ashoka, will award CHF 250 000 in grants for system change innovations in areas such as alternative delivery systems and ground-up solutions to tackle plastic waste.

Véronique Cremades-Mathis added:

“We have made strides in our transformative journey towards a waste-free future, but we know that we have more work to do. As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we’re committed to putting our size and scale to work to tackle the packaging waste problem everywhere that we operate.”