Nestlé Waters North America invests in Closed Loop Fund

Stamford, Connecticut-based Nestle Waters North America has announced it is investing $6 million in the Closed Loop Fund, an investment fund that finances recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies to advance the circular economy.

Nestlé Waters joins the ranks of some of the world’s largest companies, including 3M Co., Coca-Cola Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain, PepsiCo Inc. and the PespiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever and Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation, as part of Closed Loop Fund. Nestlé Waters says its investment is part of a shared effort among business, government and community partners to fund comprehensive recycling infrastructure and programs in cities across the United States.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75 percent of the waste stream in the U.S. is recyclable, but only 30 percent is recycled. Aside from the environmental impacts, municipalities and businesses in the U.S. spent more than $5 billion in 2015 disposing of materials in landfills. Much of these materials, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is in demand among manufacturers as raw material for everything from textiles to packaging, Nestlé Waters says.

“The United States has one of the lowest recycling rates of any industrialized country, but it doesn’t have to stay that way,” Nelson Switzer, chief sustainability officer at Nestlé Waters North America, says. “The U.S. has an opportunity to lead the way in recycling while creating jobs, economic growth and a more sustainable future.”

He continues, “As a company, we are on a very deliberate journey toward zero landfill waste in our products and operations, so I can think of no better opportunity than working collectively to ensure these recyclable materials are transformed from garbage to the valuable resources that they are.”

To date, Closed Loop Fund says it has diverted more than 100,000 tons of recyclables from landfills and the 11 projects it currently has funded are poised to divert 4 million tons by 2025. In that same time frame, the fund aims to:

  • eliminate more than 40 million tons of greenhouse gas;
  • divert more than 20 million cumulative tons of waste from landfills;
  • provide a $40 million economic benefit to municipalities; and
  • prove replicable models that will help unlock additional investment in recycling.

“Nestlé Waters’ commitment to Closed Loop Fund is a significant investment in creating shared value across the recycling supply chain,” says Rob Kaplan, managing director of Closed Loop Fund. “The investment will enable people to recycle more, and efficiently turn those packages into new products. It will save taxpayer dollars and improve the recycling system.”

Nestlé Waters says its investment in Closed Loop Fund is its latest effort to help shape products and systems that contribute toward sustainable consumption and help the company achieve zero environmental impact by 2030. The company says it has reduced the plastic content of its bottles by more than 60 percent since 1994. In April 2017, Nestlé Waters reached a milestone in its use of recycled plastic, announcing that 9 out of 10 of its California-born Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water bottles incorporate 50 percent postconsumer recycled plastic. As a result, 1.8 billion bottles have been kept from landfills, and the 86 million pounds of recycled plastic have saved 69,660 tons of carbon emissions—the equivalent of 39,000 round-trip flights from New York to L.A.—the company says.