American cities spend $5billion a year shipping waste instead of recycling it, making us one of the worst re-user in the world: we reprocess only 34% of waste while Switzerland, for example, is well known for reusing more than 50%. But recycling infrastructures are expensive so cities can't always afford them. Some of the largest companies in the US, very much aware of the role they play in this issue, joined together two years ago to work on a solution.
That's how they created the Closed Loop Fund in 2014, “they” being Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Keuring Green Mountain, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart and 3M. The aim of the fund is to provide zero and low-interest loans to cities and recycling companies to help them close the loop of waste reprocessing.
By 2020, the Closed Loop Fund hopes to invest $100M and by 2025, the goal is “to eliminate more than 50 million tons of greenhouse gas, divert more than 20 million cumulative tones of waste from landfills, create 20,000 + local jobs across the United States, save nearly $1.2 billion for American cities and prove replicable models that will help unlock additional investment in recycling”.
For now, the Closed Loop Fund has revealed its first three projects. Both Portage County, Ohio, and Quad Cities, Iowa, will invest in single-stream recycling while Baltimore will get an innovative plastics recycling facility. The fund also wishes to support low income communities to invest in recycling infrastructures, invest in new technologies to optimize waste sorting and invest in finding solutions to recycle plastic film and flexible packaging.
*Photo: Close The Loop Fund
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