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Can global leadership and impact investments stem the rising tide of ocean plastic? A growing sense of urgency about the overwhelming glut of plastics in the world’s oceans is expanding opportunities for established companies and startups offering solutions to the problem. Most, but not all, of the G7 leaders who met in Charlevoix, Quebec, signed on to an oceans plastics “charter” led by Canada’s Justin Trudeau. Only President Trump and Japan’s Shinzō Abe refused to agree to the non-binding pledge, which set goals to curb the estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste that enter the oceans each year. “This is an important step towards achieving a life-cycle economy in which all plastic would be recycled and re-purposed,” Trudeau said.
For impact investors, opportunities exist to invest in alternative materials for single-use plastics, circular business models, and waste collection, tracking and sorting innovation, according to a 2017 report from Encourage Capital. France’s Suez SA has pioneered plastic bottle recycling, while U.K. startup MacRebur Plastics Road Co. is testing an asphalt mixture made with recycled plastic bottles and bags. Closed Loop Partners’ ocean initiative, launched last fall, is raising $150 million to reduce plastic waste flowing into the waters of Southeast Asia. New York startup Loliware uses seaweed as the base for compostable and edible flavored cups, straws and lids. “The scale is our biggest challenge,” says Loliware’s Chelsea Briganti. “No one company can be the solution. We need all the companies.”
Read, “How global leadership and impact investments can stem the rising tide of ocean plastic,” By Carol J. Clouse, on ImpactAlpha.
Dealflow: Follow the Money
Deal of the Day: Jessica Alba’s Honest Company scores $200 million to revive its eco-brand. The venture raised $200 million from private equity firm L Catterton to revive its brand and expand distribution channels. Get the details.
Australia’s HESTA allocates additional A$40 million to impact fund.Australia’s retirement fund for health and community employees is putting an additional A$40 million ($30.5 million) into its Social Impact Investment Trust. Read more.
Two investors commit $200 million to inclusive Filipino lender Cashalo.The venture offers loans on a mobile platform using non-traditional credit scoring methods. Learn more.
Impact Voices: New Revivalists Go Global
How Peru’s startup ecosystem is unlocking talent and driving inclusive growth. One in four working-age Peruvians now work at an early-stage company. Those startups are increasingly turning to impact for growth. “A country famous for its world-class culinary concoctions is now serving up a new recipe: a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem—and one taking aim at inclusive growth,” Peruvian hospitality entrepreneur Alonso Franco writes in a guest post on ImpactAlpha.
- Public seed funding. A government-backed initiative to jumpstart entrepreneurial activity, StartupPeru, has backed hundreds of projects, generating close to 2,000 jobs. Kickstart Peru Seed Fund, an early-stage VC fund, has backed nine companies (including Franco’s company, Arrivedo). The Ministry of Production is funding the operations of 10 high-impact projects with around $500,000 each over the next two years.
- Impact tech. Online training platform Crehana helps Peruvians enter the digital economy. Coding academy Laboratoria is tapping into Peru’s pool of female talent. Inclusive fintech startups such as TasaTopand LatinFintech are growing beyond Peru’s borders.
Read, “How Peru’s startup ecosystem is unlocking talent and driving inclusive growth” by Alonso Franco on ImpactAlpha.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
Capital Impact Partners’ Ellis Carr was among 22 global leaders named to the Aspen Institute’s Finance Leaders Fellowship 2018 Class… Michele Giddens, co-founder of Bridges Fund Management and the chair of the UK National Advisory Board for Impact Investment, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to international development and social finance… Third Sector Capital Partners is hiring a manager in Boston to design and execute new pay-for-success contracts with clients.
—June 12, 2018.