Asia | April 28, 2020

Circulate Capital invests in plastic recyclers in India and Indonesia

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 28 – Singapore-based Circulate Capital spun off from Closed Loop Partners two years ago to tackle plastic waste in Asia. Five countries are responsible for half of the plastic waste that ends up in oceans worldwide and Circulate founder Rob Kaplan wanted to seize the “opportunity to build new value chains out of waste streams.”

With a $15 million anchor investment from PepsiCo Foundation, the firm raised $106 million from Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Unilever, Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips and others (see, Circulate Capital brings corporate customers to sustainable-oceans investing).

Now, its first investments commit $6 million to Mumbai-based Lucro Plastecycle, which repurposes hard-to-recycle plastic scraps into new products like vehicle upholstery and steering-wheel covers; and Jakarta-based Tridi Oasis, a female-led company that recycles common PET plastic into “flakes” for textiles or new packaging materials.

To back up its equity investments, Circulate is providing short-term lines of credit to help portfolio companies weather the business disruption.

“If the current health and economic crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we need to future proof our local supply chains and economies,” Kaplan said. “The resilience of critical infrastructure like waste and recycling goes hand-in-hand with protecting the health and livelihoods of our communities.”

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and USAID provided partial guarantees (see, Catalyzing capital to prevent plastic waste).