Starbucks [SBUX:US], PepsiCo [PEP:US], Nestlé [NESN:SW], SK Group [034730:KS], Unilever [UNA:EN], and Microsoft [MSFT:US] have joined a new recycling and reuse infrastructure platform, Circular Services, in a move to avoid landfill costs and achieve sustainability goals, as reported by ESG Today on March 17. The platform, established by Circular economy investor Closed Loop Partners (CLP) in November 2022, is the largest privately held recycling company in North America. It focuses on recycling and reuse services for packaging, textiles, electronics, and organics, operating 12 municipal recycling facilities in seven states of the US. Including a prior USD700m from Brookfield Renewables, the company has secured nearly USD1bn in investment from its latest partnership with Starbucks and others.
The move reflects a broader trend of major consumer-facing companies investing in recycling infrastructure to increase the availability of recycled materials and mitigate environmental impact. Starbucks, which has invested USD10m in the Circular Services platform, has committed to phasing out single-use packaging and to achieve a 50% reduction in waste sent to landfill from stores and manufacturing by 2030. Nestlé has also pledged that, by 2025, it will make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable, and to reduce virgin plastics use by a third by 2025. The latest partnership would also facilitate Microsoft’s target of achieving zero waste from the company’s operations, products, and packaging by 2030. The tech giant is working with Circular Services, via portfolio company Retrievr, to manage e-scrap recycling in Denver.