Circulate Capital Appoints Industry Leader Nick Moon as Chair, Joining the Leadership Team to Strengthen Fundraising and Institutionalizing Efforts

April 25, 2024

Circulate Capital, the leading circular economy investment management firm in high-growth markets, today announced the appointment of Nick Moon as its new Chair. Reporting directly to Founder and CEO Rob Kaplan, Nick will help drive the firm’s fundraising initiatives and play a key role in its strategic development and institutional strengthening.

With over two decades of experience in private equity, specializing in fundraising and strategic growth initiatives, Nick most recently served as a Partner at LeapFrog Investments. During his decade-long tenure, he led multiple successful fundraisings, expanding the firm’s assets from $135 million to over $2 billion.

“Nick’s remarkable track record and extensive experience make him an invaluable addition to our leadership team,” said Rob Kaplan, Founder & CEO of Circulate Capital. “His strategic acumen and proven leadership skills are critical as we aim to scale our strategies and deepen our impact on the circular economy and climate change.”

Since its launch in December 2019, backed by leading corporations, Circulate Capital has broadened its investor base to include development finance institutions, family offices, and private investors. Today, the firm has a robust US $255 million in assets under management (AUM) and has built the largest recycling portfolio in Asia, demonstrating significant growth and commitment to its mission.

In his role as Chair, Nick will enhance Circulate Capital’s fundraising and corporate growth strategies, working alongside the rest of the leadership team to scale the firm further. His efforts will be vital in helping the firm achieve its strategy and broaden its impact.

“Circulate Capital has a highly distinctive strategy, a growing track record of successes, and a highly compelling team of experts,” said Moon. “I am thrilled to be joining at this transformative time, and I look forward to leveraging my experience to help amplify the firm’s growth and impact.”

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Circulate Capital expands into new market with investment in Thai recycling company Union J. Plus, further strengthening its Southeast-Asian footprint

December 13, 2023

  • New capital will strengthen Thailand’s circular flexible plastics supply chain with Union J.Plus’ scale-up and acquisition of a local LDPE recycling facility.  
  • Investment backed by PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and Mondelēz International.


Bangkok, 13 December 2023: Circulate Capital, the leading circular economy investment management firm in high-growth markets, today announced a new strategic investment in well-established Thai polyolefins recycler Union J.Plus (UJP). The new capital will enable female-owned and led UJP to strengthen its operations and accelerate its scale-up through both organic growth and M&A, starting with the acquisition of an existing 18,000 TPA capacity low-density polyethylene (LDPE) recycling facility located in Samut Prakan

Supported by Circulate Capital’s investment, UJP will significantly increase its recycling capacity and strengthen its supply chain. When fully operational, UJP expects its total recycling capacity to exceed 30,000 TPA, including 20,000 TPA of Premium/food-grade polyolefins. 

One of the few female-owned and led recycling businesses in the region, UJP is headed by industry veterans who are leveraging their 20 years of experience, deep local insights, and strong technical expertise to position the company as one of Thailand’s leading polyolefins recyclers. By accelerating the collection and recycling of large volumes of domestic plastic waste, this new development is a major milestone for accelerating the circular economy in Thailand. 

The strategic investment also marks Circulate Capital’s first venture in Thailand, expanding its recycling portfolio – already the largest in South and Southeast Asia – and demonstrating its continued commitment to creating local supply chains for high-quality recycled plastics.  

In Thailand alone, around two million tonnes of plastic waste is generated annually – of which only a quarter is recycled. Research estimates the country loses up to US$4 billion annually when plastics are discarded rather than recycled into valuable materials. Comparatively, adopting a circular economy can unlock as much as US$1.6 billion in cost savings and additional revenue for Thailand’s private sector. 

Kulanart Siriphati, Union J. Plus Co-Founder, said: “As an active player in Thailand’s growing plastic waste recycling industry, our goal is to lead the charge in advancing plastic circularity for a more sustainable future. Circulate Capital’s support is crucial to this commitment, empowering us to scale our efforts and enhance Thailand’s recycling infrastructure.” 

With the first circular economy fund in Asia to be backed by global brands, including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and Mondelēz International, Circulate Capital’s partnership with UJP will also provide the company with access to global supply chains and allows them to tap into the R&D and technical expertise of leading corporations.

“We will catalyze systems change across high-growth markets in the region by taking this full value chain approach to our investments. We’re proud to support UJP as a key player in transforming Thailand’s recycling supply chain by facilitating its scale-up,” said Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Circulate Capital. “With its strong women-led management team and impressive track record, we expect great impact and results as UJP supercharges its growth and capitalizes on the growing market opportunity for recycled plastics globally and society’s need for a circular economy. ”

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Circulate Capital Announces Final Close of $76 Million Climate Tech Fund, Bringing Total Assets Under Management to $255 Million

December 5, 2023

Singapore – December 5, 2023 — Circulate Capital, a leading environmental impact investor advancing the circular economy for plastics in high-growth markets, announced today the final close of the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), bringing the fund’s total AUM to $76 million and the firm’s total AUM to $255 million. CCOF I-B invests in two complementary strategies aimed at tackling the plastic pollution crisis and fighting climate change: 

  • Circulate Capital Disrupt (CCD): climate-tech investments in breakthrough innovations that reduce the need for virgin plastics and limit greenhouse gas emissions across the sustainable fashion, biotech and AI, and smart materials sectors.
  • Circulate Capital Recycling Supply Chains: growth investments that transform recycling and waste management supply chains in South and Southeast Asia (SSEA), scaling the highest-potential solutions and replicating their success.

Circulate Capital also announced today that it has secured a $7 million commitment from BII, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor. This marks the firm’s fourth investment from a DFI, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Proparco, a subsidiary of the French AFD Group, with total commitments from DFIs now reaching $32 million. These commitments are expected to help catalyze institutional investment into enterprises that develop solutions to combat plastic waste in Asia.

The firm additionally announced today that CCOF I-B has qualified for the 2X Challenge, in recognition of its significant commitment to women’s economic empowerment. The Fund’s nomination was sponsored by BII. This qualification is a key milestone of Circulate Capital’s Gender Smart Investing Strategy, launched in March 2022. 

“We’re proud to welcome BII to our prestigious list of institutional investors so we can scale our investments more quickly to address the global plastic pollution crisis and advance the circular economy,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder of Circulate Capital. “To close our climate tech fund with the support of prominent partners including global corporations, family offices, foundations, and now four of the biggest DFIs in the world signifies that the sector is ripe for the capital it needs to achieve circularity and mitigate the negative effects of climate change.”

Kaplan continued: “Crossing the $250 million AUM threshold is an exciting measure of our success, but even more a testament to the growing appetite amongst institutional and impact investors for investments in high growth companies that are delivering both deep impact and meaningful financial returns. Thus far, our climate tech strategy has invested in four impressive enterprises at the forefront of climate tech and circular innovation, and we will continue to identify and add innovators in this space to our portfolio as well as for our flagship strategy of investing in recycling infrastructure in the SSEA region.”

British High Commissioner to Singapore, Kara Owen, said: “This deal will inject investment to help solve an issue which is particularly pressing in this region – plastic waste management. This UK Government funding is indicative of the strength of the UK commitment to the Indo-Pacific and our innovative approach to tackling global challenges and development. That innovation and UK-Singapore partnership is at the core of the UK-Singapore Strategic Partnership.”

Commenting on its commitment and partnership with Circulate Capital, Srini Nagarajan, Managing Director and Head of Asia at BII said: “With an estimation that 11 million metric tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year, plastic pollution is a serious threat to not just the health of our oceans but also the livelihoods of millions of people. That’s why we are proud to partner with Circulate Capital in South and South East Asia as through funding innovative circulate economy solutions, they have already prevented about 150k tonnes of plastic pollution leakage, reduced or avoided GHG emissions of about 227k tonnes, and managed or recycled a total waste of about 1.2m tonnes.”

He added: “With deep sector capabilities, we look forward to learning alongside Circulate for solutions to addressing the plastic problem which could be replicated in other emerging markets.”

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Circulate Capital announces new investment in Algenesis, a plant-based material science company

October 26, 2023

October 26, 2023: Leading plant-based material science company Algenesis Corporation has raised  US$5M in a funding round led by First Bight Ventures, with Circulate Capital and others. A pioneer in  developing bio-based plastics that are competitive with petroleum-based in both cost and functionality,  Algenesis’ patented Soleic® technology is the world’s first renewable, high-performance, fully biodegradable and backyard compostable bioPolyurethane (bioPU) made from plants and algae. 

Algenesis’ unique Soleic® PU is currently available in soft foam applications, such as midsoles and insoles  for footwear. The new funds will be used to expand Soleic® product lines into breathable waterproof  textiles, and injection molded products such as phone cases. The company also plans to expand and  strengthen its supply chain by bringing more of its processes in-house, to scale production and  commercialization of these materials that are increasingly in demand by a variety of consumer-facing  brands, further cementing their position as a leader in eco-innovation. 

Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Circulate Capital, said: “We are thrilled to add Algenesis to Circulate  Capital’s Disrupt portfolio, which targets breakthrough innovations advancing circularity. As global brands commit to driving circularity in their products, we see huge potential for Algenesis to meet this market opportunity with their innovative new materials.”

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Circulate Capital Launches New Initiative with US$65M to Combat Plastic Pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean

May 23, 2023

IDB Lab, Builders Vision, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Danone, Dow, Mondelēz International, and Unilever Join Forces to Scale the Recycling Supply Chain Across Latin America and the Caribbean, Address Climate Change, and Improve Livelihoods

Mexico City – May 23, 2023 — Circulate Capital, a leading environmental impact investor advancing the circular economy for plastics in high-growth markets, announced today the launch of a new initiative to combat plastic pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group,  Builders Vision, the impact platform founded by Lukas Walton, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Danone, Dow, Mondelēz International, and Unilever have joined forces to pledge a total of US$65M to help scale solutions and support best-in-class recycling businesses across the LAC region. The new LAC initiative will focus initially on Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico and soon expand across the region.

 As highlighted by the United Nations, growing economies across Latin America and the Caribbean have advanced faster than their waste management and recycling infrastructures. As a result, there is an opportunity to strengthen and scale the recycling value chain across the region. This joint initiative between Circulate Capital and its partners aims to:

  1. Scale companies with systemic solutions that rethink recycling supply chains, from collecting and sorting to processing and manufacturing;
  2. Mitigate climate change and environmental risks;
  3. Advance the circular economy for plastic; and
  4. Benefit local communities and create jobs.

Circulate Capital’s unique model leverages the networks and expertise of IDB Lab as well as CP Chem, Danone, Dow, Mondelēz International, and Unilever, who seek new solutions to help them meet their global sustainability commitments. Beyond financing, Circulate Capital and its partners provide mentoring and technical support to recycling companies to help them reach global quality standards and gain access to global supply chains.

“We have identified promising opportunities across Latin America that, if scaled, could turn the tide on the plastic waste crisis in the region,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder, Circulate Capital. “By applying the lessons and best practices from our years of work in South and Southeast Asia, we are confident that we can support solutions in Latin America’s high-growth markets to create circularity at scale. Our corporate partners will also play a critical, strategic role in helping best-in-class recyclers to connect with global supply chains, and we look forward to their collaboration.”

The new initiative is the culmination of more than two years of research by Circulate Capital’s team and partners to understand the potential solutions in the LAC region. Circulate Capital published the findings of this research in its recent report, ‘Reducing plastic pollution in Latin America: A Handbook for Action,’ which revealed that the LAC region is primed for businesses and the private sector to transform the plastic waste value chain.

The LAC initiative will leverage Circulate Capital’s experience operating in South and Southeast Asia (SSEA), where it built the largest recycling portfolio of the region, which includes 10 companies transforming the supply chains from collection to upcycling and digitization. 

“I’ve seen firsthand here on the ground in Latin America the cost of inaction to mitigate the plastic waste crisis in the region – but the problem is far from insurmountable. What’s driving our optimism for recovery and success in advancing the circular economy is that we have esteemed partners who acknowledge the critical situation and have committed to develop the local and regional solutions we need to reform our plastic waste value chain,” said Ernesto Hanhausen, Circulate Capital’s Partner for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Scaling the recycling supply chain across the LAC region will be an important way to fight climate change as well as enable the creation of safe and dignified jobs across the value chain.”

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Circulate Capital announces follow-on investment into Lucro as company closes the loop on flexible plastic packaging in India

July 27, 2022

Singapore, July 27, 2022 – Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment management firm financing high-growth opportunities at the nexus of climate-tech and plastics, recycling and the circular economy, today announced a follow-on investment in current portfolio company, Lucro Plastecycle Private Limited (Lucro). The additional capital is expected to allow the company to triple its capacity in order to meet the growing demand for its products.

Created in partnership with leading global corporations including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Mondēlez International, Circulate Capital has committed to investing half of its US$112 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I) into India, and today has the largest portfolio dedicated to fighting plastic pollution and advancing the circular economy in the country. The fund’s activities are complemented by the US$53 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), which acts as a companion venture and private equity fund to CCOF I.

A homegrown Indian company, Lucro specializes in recycling difficult-to-manage post-consumer flexible plastic packaging and converting it into granules and high-value end products. The company’s trademark Plast-E-Cycle™ process sets new standards for the industry and helps to close the loop in plastic usage. It buys back and recycles end-of-life flexible plastic and films, which are then washed and converted into granules sold to converters or made into end products such as shrink wraps, polybags and other primary, secondary and tertiary packaging for various industrial applications.

Rapidly evolving into an innovative material sciences company, Lucro is as of today the first and only Indian company able to make customized single compounded granules and end products from this waste. Since Circulate Capital’s initial investment in March 2020, Lucro has made strides towards advancing the circular economy in India, increasing its capacity to process waste by more than tenfold with the opening of eight new collection centres across the country. The company is also working with municipalities on ground to collect post-consumer waste from direct sources, alongside waste pickers, helping to improve supply while enabling the informal sector to earn more. Additional funding from Circulate Capital will enable Lucro to triple its capacity, with the company projecting that it will recycle more than 315,000 tonnes of flexibles and rigid plastic waste by 2031 and expand employment and contract opportunities to over 1,000 individuals.

Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO, Circulate Capital said, “We are proud of Lucro’s amazing growth over the past two years. They have demonstrated tremendous resilience through the pandemic and their success proves that the creation of financial and environmental value can go hand in hand. We are excited to support them as they expand their world-class operations to meet the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.”

“Circulate Capital’s additional investment is a strong endorsement that we are delivering on our vision of closing the loop on plastic packaging and becoming a leader in advanced recycled materials to support the global shift towards circularity. Their ongoing support will enable us to strengthen our capacity to meet the growing demand for post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging and accelerate our impact across India’s waste management and recycling industry” said Ujwal Desai, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Lucro.

Over the past two years, Lucro has also cemented its position as a leading innovator in India’s recycling industry, implementing waste traceability software, “SATMA CE”, to bring transparency into the supply chain and increasing the market demand for new post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging products through long-term agreements with top international brand names. In February 2021, Lucro and Circulate Capital’s founding investor, Dow, entered a memorandum of understanding to co-develop a PCR polyethylene film solution. This partnership embodies Circulate Capital’s vision of being a value-added investor by bringing the power of relationships to support product development and market access.

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Circulate Capital Achieves Third Close for Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B, Led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco

July 27, 2022

Singapore, July 27, 2022 – Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment-management firm financing high-growth opportunities at the nexus of climate technology, plastic recycling, and the circular economy, announced today a third close for Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), bringing the fund’s total commitments to US$53 million.

CCOF I-B’s latest close brings Circulate Capital’s total assets under management to US$165 million, making it the largest impact investment firm dedicated to fighting plastic pollution and advancing the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia. Alongside the firm’s US$112 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I), the fund invests in companies across the plastic-recycling and waste-management value chains, as well as startups focused on early-stage disruptive innovation and technology aligned with Circulate Capital Disrupt, the firm’s climate tech strategy, such as new delivery models, advanced recycling technologies, and new alternatives to single-use plastic.

CCOF I-B’s support includes US$10 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, and US$5.6 million from Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) devoted to private-sector financing. IFC’s investment includes an equity commitment of US$5 million from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Change Program.

We’re delighted to support Circulate Capital in its efforts to tackle the plastic-waste crisis in Asia,” said William Sonneborn, IFC’s Senior Director of Disruptive Technologies and Funds. “The fund will help address plastic pollution and climate change through critical investments in recycling, waste management, and innovations in alternate materials and advanced recycling technologies. It will also increase access to much-needed capital for the small and medium-sized enterprises delivering these important solutions.

Waste management and sustainable-plastic recycling have proven to be top priorities to invest in to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Diane Jegam, Proparco’s Regional Director for South Asia. “Proparco is proud to partner with Circulate Capital, whose significant track record and expertise on reduction of plastic waste leakage into the environment prepare them to maximize the impact of this fund.”

CCOF I-B is backed by a number of distinguished international private investors, including Align Impact, Builders Vision, Benjamin Duncan Group, DF Impact Capital, Eden Impact, Huang Chen Foundation, Jebsen & Jessen, Minderoo Foundation, Rumah Group, North-East Family Office, SK2 Fund, Twynam Investments, the Woodcock Foundation, and Neil Yeoh of OnePointFive. In April 2022, Circulate Capital announced an expected commitment to be made later this year by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which will invest up to US$20 million in CCOF I-B. In December 2021, Circulate Capital announced the US$25 million second close of CCOF I-B, which was followed by the June 2021 announcement of the CCOF I-B fund launch.

The firm has also recently achieved key milestones across its portfolio, including:

  • A follow-on co-investment by CCOF I-B and CCOF I in current Asia Recycling Supply Chain portfolio company Lucro Plastecycle Private Limited (Lucro), a homegrown Indian manufacturer that specializes in recycling difficult-to-manage flexible plastic packaging and is rapidly evolving into a material-sciences company.
  • Circ, the circular fashion company whose revolutionary technology returns clothes to the raw materials from which they were made, raised over US$30 million in Series B funding backed by some of the largest international apparel companies and venture capital firms, including Inditex, Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and Circulate Capital.

The race to unlock the investment potential of the circular economy is heating up,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder, Circulate Capital. “With institutional investors like IFC and Proparco jumping in alongside global corporations, foundations, and family offices, and several of our portfolio companies achieving significant milestones, it’s clear that the time to invest in the circular economy is now. Taken together, these developments make the case that our blended finance approach has successfully created new market opportunities that generate significant impact and competitive financial returns, bringing us closer to our ambition to unlock one billion dollars to prevent 150 million tons of ocean plastic pollution by 2030.”

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The European Investment Bank Commits up to $20 million to Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B

April 26, 2022

Singapore, April 26, 2022 – Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment management firm financing high-growth opportunities at the nexus of climate-tech and plastics, recycling and the circular economy, announced today that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed up to $20 million to the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), which invests both into disruptive innovations aligned with Circulate Capital Disrupt (CCD), the firm’s climate-tech strategy, and into the South and Southeast Asia recycling value chain, alongside the firm’s $112m Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I). CCOF I-B is targeting a total raise of USD$80 million and is therefore in consideration with other investors, as recently disclosed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

European Investment Bank’s Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix, said: “Preserving the health of our oceans is key to tackle the climate challenges and preserve our economic prosperity. Through the EIB’s Climate Bank Roadmap and Clean and Sustainable Ocean Programme, we are committed to investing in climate action and environmental sustainability around the World. In particular, we want to support projects aiming at reducing pollution, by recycling and re-using plastics, so that we can ensure a better future for all. I am therefore very pleased to back initiatives that make this financially viable, such as the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B.

The fund’s inaugural investments are innovators that implement solutions in the biotechnologies, sustainable fashion, and smart materials sectors as well as digitization of the recycling value chain to combat plastic waste and climate change. These enterprises include Arzeda, Circ, Phase Change Solutions, and Recykal – they represent some of today’s most cutting-edge innovations that are disrupting a cross-section of supply chains and have proven technologies and ambitions to expand in Asia where there is strong potential for financial, environmental, and social returns.

In order to advance the circular economy and mitigate the negative effects of plastic pollution on climate change, we need to scale investment dollars into this sector immediately. The European Investment Bank’s commitment to CCOF I-B is a key indicator that the sector is ready for institutional capital,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder, Circulate Capital. “We are grateful that our investors, including global corporations, family offices, foundations, and now institutions like the EIB who are working together to bring investible solutions that foster and advance climate resilience to market standards.”

In December 2021, Circulate Capital announced the $25m second close of CCOF I-B, which followed on the June 2021 announcement of the CCD strategy and CCOF I-B fund launch. CCOF I-B is backed by international private investors including Builders Vision; Benjamin Duncan Group; Circocean Ltd; DF Impact Capital; Eden Impact; Huang Chen Foundation; Minderoo Foundation; Rumah Group; North-East Family Office and Twynam Investments Ltd.

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Circulate Capital Invests in India’s Deluxe to Scale Recycling of Sachets and Multilayer Plastic Waste

April 5, 2022

Singapore, 5 April 2022 – Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment management firm that finances innovations, companies, and infrastructure to prevent ocean plastic and climate change by advancing the circular economy, today announced that the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I) is investing in Deluxe Recycling Private Limited (Deluxe). Deluxe is a leading Indian plastic recycling company that recycles challenging multilayer plastics (MLP), like sachets and Used-Beverage-Cartons (UBC) into new, valuable products, such as pallets and rickshaw seats. By creating a market for MLP waste, the company expects to divert 34,000 tons per annum of waste from incineration or landfills by 2025, helping pave the way to a circular economy in India.

Typically considered of no value and very difficult to recycle, MLP waste is one of the most polluting forms of plastic packaging and, if it is collected at all, is used for fuel, incineration, or co-processing at cement plants. Deluxe has developed a scalable ecosystem for the collection of MLP by working with and paying a network of aggregators and small material recovery facilities (MRF) to collect and sort MLP waste. The company then uses proprietary, in-house developed technology to manufacture a variety of heavy, rigid products. In 2020, the company recycled 7,100 tons of MLP, making it one of the largest organized MLP recyclers in India.

Investment from the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund will allow Deluxe to expand to three new facilities across western and southern India, increasing its capacity three-fold. The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund is the world’s first investment fund focused on ocean plastics in South and Southeast Asia, created in partnership with leading global corporations, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Mondēlez International. As Deluxe expands, its infrastructure can be leveraged to build a circular multilayer plastics market and accelerate the development of the sector as new technology is deployed.

Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Circulate Capital, said, “Difficult-to-recycle plastics like sachets, food packing and plastic wrap have remained a global challenge in the waste management and recycling sector. Deluxe’s game-changing technology and entrepreneurial know-how has enabled the company to transform these multilayer plastics into valuable products at a scale not seen before in India. Deluxe currently supplies 90% of the recycled seat board market, which means nearly every rickshaw driver sits on a Deluxe-recycled seat. The dynamism and size of the Indian market present a huge opportunity for investment in the transition to a circular economy for plastics. Deluxe is firmly positioned at the forefront of this transformation and we’re proud to be supporting their growth.

The problem of plastic waste, especially MLP, is increasing in India, with the country generating 9.4 million tons of plastic waste annually. Only 60% of plastic waste is being collected, with 3.8 million tons leaking into the environment every year. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy development path in India could create an annual value of ₹14 lakh crore (US$218 billion) in 2030 and ₹40 lakh crore (US$624 billion) in 2050 in comparison to the current development scenario. It could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 44% along with significant reduction in air pollution, thus contributing to health and economic benefits for society.

Jignesh Shah, Co-founder of Deluxe said: “Our ultimate mission is to create value from waste, diverting it from incineration and landfill. We are proud to partner with Circulate Capital to scale our operations and our impact. At Deluxe, we see the potential to transform India’s MLP waste into a valuable mainstream raw material, incentivizing its collection and replacing the need to use virgin plastics.”

Since establishment, Deluxe has worked with external vendors and aggregators to provide training and development in effective waste segregation as well as offtake agreements, price premiums and better standard of living for formal and informal waste pickers. Deluxe currently employs 150 full-time employees and up to 140 contract laborers, ensuring appropriate employment arrangements and contributions to pension funds. Expansion is expected to provide employment opportunities for over 100 new recycling and waste management workers

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Srichakra Becomes the First Indian Recycling Company to Receive a Positive Safety Assessment from European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

March 10, 2022

Mumbai, March 10, 2022: Srichakra Polyplast (Srichakra), India’s first food-grade quality plastic recycling company announced today that its recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) has received a positive safety assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The announcement comes as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to approve the use of rPET for food packaging, reducing the need for virgin plastics and paving the way for a circular economy for plastics in India.

EFSA evaluates the safety of substances used in food contact materials (FCM) including active and intelligent materials. The verdict from EFSA is predicated on an in-depth assessment of processes, with a focus on the suitability of the finished polymer product for packaging purposes.

The use of rPET in FCM has been heavily restricted in several Asian regions including India until recently. The move by Indian authorities signals a policy shift that will enable bottle-to-bottle recycling and will help build local circular supply chains.

With the aim of reducing, reusing, and recycling plastic waste, the India Plastics Pact was launched in September 2021 to bring together businesses, governments and NGOs and accelerate the transformation of the plastic value chain. Srichakra’s certification is a part of this ongoing movement, showcasing the company’s commitment to turn plastic waste from a scourge into a valuable resource. Srichakra’s EFSA approval comes just months after the company announced an investment of more than US$10 million into its world-class technology to upgrade and expand recycling capabilities.

Ravindra Venkata, CEO and Co-founder of Srichakra, said, “As an organization, Srichakra is committed to offering the highest grade of recycled plastic to customers in India and international markets such as Europe and the United States. We are thrilled to receive EFSA’s positive scientific opinion which is considered as a global benchmark. We are well on our path to be the first facility in India to offer premium food-grade rPET to domestic and global markets. Moreover, FSSAI’s release of guidelines for acceptance of rPET for food applications in India is an exciting development and we are looking forward to contributing to building circular supply chains in India.”

Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder of Circulate Capital which invested in Srichakra in December 2020, commented, “This is a tremendous achievement for Srichakra that underscores its leadership in accelerating the circular economy for plastics in India. Thanks to its technology-driven approach, the company is setting new benchmarks in the recycling and waste management industry nationwide. As a strategic investor in Srichakra through the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund, we are excited to support their growth journey.”

The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF) is the world’s first investment fund dedicated to scaling organizations and SMEs transforming the waste management and recycling industry across South and Southeast Asia. The Fund was created in partnership with leading global corporations, including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Mondēlez International. Srichakra is currently in conversations with multiple global fast-moving consumer goods companies regarding offtake agreements and expects to further increase capacity across its operations.

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Circulate Capital Commits to the 2X Challenge, Setting a New Standard for Gender Smart Investment in the Circular Economy for Plastics

March 3, 2022

Singapore, 3 March 2022: Circulate Capital, the emerging market investment management firm that finances innovations, companies and infrastructure that scale solutions to the plastic pollution and climate change crises, announced today it has qualified for the 2X Challenge, in recognition of its significant commitment to women’s economic empowerment. Circulate Capital’s nomination was sponsored by US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

Founded by the development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 nations to shift more capital towards investments that empower women in developing countries, the 2X Challenge aims to deploy US$15 billion for gender-lens investment by the end of 2022, an ambitious new target set in 2021 after securing more than double its initial goal of US$3 billion.

Circulate Capital and CCOF qualified as a 2X Investment across three areas:

  • Leadership: Women represent 60% of Circulate Capital’s senior management, as well as 40% of the Investment Committee for CCOF.
  • Employment: More than 50% of the company’s workforce are women, and the company has implemented policies and programs to address barriers to women’s quality employment across recruitment, retention and career progression.
  • Investments: CCOF commits that, by the end of its investment period, at least 30% of its portfolio companies will be 2X Eligible Enterprises or 30% of its invested capital will be in 2X Eligible Enterprises.

Qualification as a 2X Eligible Enterprise requires organizations to be either women-owned or founded; have a minimum of 30% representation of women in board or senior management positions; or comprise a minimum of 30% of the workforce and institute policies to address barriers to employment.

The 2X qualification is the first milestone in Circulate Capital’s Gender Smart Investing Strategy, which has been developed with USAID via its INVEST mechanism – an initiative that mobilizes private capital for better, more sustainable development results. The Gender Smart Investing Strategy will drive performance of CCOF’s portfolio and aims to set the standard for gender-smart climate investing in emerging markets.

Circulate Capital is working with global impact investment advisory firms Sagana and Catalyst at Large to support CCOF’s portfolio companies in developing action plans to support gender awareness and inclusivity across their operations, including leadership and career progression, quality employment, and products and services that enhance women’s economic participation.

In addition, Circulate Capital will develop a guide to gender-responsive investing for the waste management and recycling sector. The guide will build on insights from Circulate Capital’s efforts to empower its portfolio companies to employ gender smart practices in their business operations and strategies, and will feature toolkits, case studies, and benchmarks for the wider sector.

Ellen Martin, Chief Impact Officer, Circulate Capital, said, “We know that inclusive investing is smart investing. Not only does having more women in decision-making positions result in better climate outcomes, but there is also a clear business case for making the waste management and recycling industry more inclusive. Circulate Capital is focused as much on improving livelihoods as it is on generating returns and solving the ocean plastic pollution issue.”

We’re proud to be recognized by the 2X Challenge for our efforts to date and excited to launch our Gender Smart Investment Strategy, a natural evolution of our investment philosophy. With CCOF poised to deploy at least $50 million in the next two years, the Gender Smart Investing Strategy aims to strengthen the performance of our portfolio while ensuring portfolio companies are attractive and safe places for all, including women, to work and thrive. Our goal is to shift gender smart investing practices to mainstream use among institutional and commercial investors.

There is an ever-growing body of evidence that identifies the benefits gender equality offers for economic development and addressing climate change. According to a McKinsey study, closing the gender labor gap could add $28 trillion, or 26%, to annual global GDP in 2025. In addition, research by BIS found that a 1 percentage point increase in the share of female managers has led to a 0.5 percent decrease in CO2 emissions across 2,000 listed companies in 24 industrialized economies over a 10-year period.

Suzanne Biegel, founder of Catalyst at Large and global leader in gender-smart investing, said, “Women have a critical role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Women are innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs, workers and customers in climate-related fields, but they remain underrepresented in key decision-making positions and as users of capital. The 2X Challenge allows more capital to be directed to the organizations that are leading the charge in women’s empowerment in developing countries, which encompass those most at-risk from the effects of climate change. I’m pleased that Circulate Capital has been recognized as one of these leading organizations and look forward to working together to demonstrate how gender diversity supports business performance in partnership with its portfolio companies.

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Circulate Capital Invests in “Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia” to Expand Recycling Infrastructure and Prevent Plastic Pollution in Indonesia

January 11, 2022

Singapore, 11 January 2022: Circulate Capital, the Singapore-based investment management firm that finances innovations, companies, and infrastructure to prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s oceans and advance a carbon neutral circular economy, today announced that the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF) is investing in Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia. This plastic waste collection and recycling company is pioneering and testing an innovative supply chain model for the management of plastic waste.

A unique partnership between PT Polindo Utama (Polindo), Bantam Materials Ltd (Bantam Materials) and Circulate Capital, Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia commits to strategically expand recycling infrastructure to underserved communities across Indonesia to prevent plastic leakage and support local livelihoods.

The company’s ambition is to develop a scalable and sustainable model that sets the standard for industry best practice in Southeast Asia by leveraging:

  • Polindo’s 20 years of experience on the ground in establishing and managing plastic collection and aggregation infrastructure;
  • Bantam Materials’ access to premium markets and expertise in governance and traceability via its proven Prevented Ocean Plastic program; and

Circulate Capital’s strategic investment and expertise in scaling innovation and driving growth. With more than 124 million people – 45 percent of Indonesia’s population – living outside of the country’s economic centre in Java, and with more than 17,000 islands, it’s generally too expensive and difficult to collect waste from islands outside of the main population centers. The investment from CCOF will fund a network of 12 new high-volume collection centres and three new aggregation centres to be established in select coastal communities in need across Indonesia, with a particular emphasis on Kalimantan and Sulawesi islands.

Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia will combine the unique strengths of each partner to deliver localized infrastructure providing certified and traceable premium quality recycled plastic to global markets, driving environmental, social and economic value from the bottle collector to the end consumer. Its model aims at streamlining logistics processes and enabling the pooling of collection volumes to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. Furthermore, the centres will be underpinned by the Prevented Ocean Plastic program’s market-leading collection and recycling process. Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia will produce traceable recycled PET (rPET) that complies with international standards and is trusted by global brands.

Over a 10-year period, the venture estimates it will help prevent 400,000 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean, avoiding 800 000 tonnes of GHG emissions while also creating 1,000 direct jobs and supporting new income opportunities for thousands of bottle collectors.

The reality of trying to collect plastic waste across 17,000 islands has compounded the plastic pollution crisis in Indonesia — there are just too many logistical challenges and complexities within the recycling value chain,” explained Rob Kaplan, Founder and CEO, Circulate Capital. “We are excited to invest with Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia to build a unique network of collection and value-addition to efficiently address those challenges and meet the ready offtake market for high quality and traceable recycled plastic. This project has the potential to be a blueprint for best-in-class recycling and circular economy infrastructure across Southeast Asia.

Indonesia’s rapid population growth and economic development is contributing to an exponential increase in plastic consumption. While the plastic waste management and recycling systems in the major wastesheds of Jakarta and Surabaya on Java Island are relatively established, smaller cities in Java and other islands across Indonesia lack efficient collection and recycling infrastructure, resulting in high levels of plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. 72 percent of Indonesia’s total plastic pollution originates in rural regions and small-to medium-sized cities, yet collection rates in rural and remote regions are only 20 percent or less .

Commenting on the announcement, Daniel Law, CEO, Polindo, said, “We are proud to take our long-term partnership with Bantam Materials to the next level thanks to Circulate Capital’s support. This partnership will enable us to develop waste collection infrastructure to meet the growing demand for traceable plastic while also supporting in need communities outside of Java. We believe there is an opportunity to overcome and optimize the complex collection and sorting logistics in remote areas of Indonesia, and in doing so, deliver better income opportunities and incentive models that help mobilize informal waste collection and reduce the plastic that enters the ocean.”

Raffi Schieir, Director of Bantam Materials UK, said, “Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia has the opportunity to deliver substantial impact for in need communities across Indonesia who have never had access to recycling infrastructure. There is already an increasing global demand for high-quality, traceable plastic as governments in Europe and international markets mandate the use of recycled plastic in packaging and products. By developing this infrastructure in line with the international quality and governance standards and following the fully traceable and trusted Prevented Ocean Plastic programme, we can lead the charge to transform Indonesia’s plastic waste management industry, prevent ocean plastic at scale and foster greater social and financial inclusion.”

Prior to receiving funding, the Prevented Ocean Plastic program established a flagship collection centre in Bali to trial the business model. To date, the centre has delivered benefits through job creation, plastic collection at scale and improved livelihoods of the waste workers and their community.

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