December 13, 2023
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. ”