Mirova backs Plastics for Change to accelerate the plastics circular economy and promote social change
Plastics For Change (‘PFC’), a company who has developed the world's first Fairtrade verified recycled plastic supply chain, announces today the closing of a US$2million investment, led by Mirova1.
The funding will support the rapid expansion of PFC’s business model to coastal communities across India and South Asia to prevent discarded plastics from entering the ocean-bound waterways. In addition to this, the investment seeks to enable an increasing number of brands and manufacturers access to high-quality recycled plastic material from transparent and responsible supply chains.
The round was led by Mirova via one of its specialized investment funds2 dedicated to the creation of value and social impact by providing growth capital to companies that harness the ocean's natural capital.
Plastics For Change is on a mission to help lift waste-pickers out of dire poverty by offering fair predictable prices for the ocean-bound plastic they collect. “Now more than ever, consumers want to buy from brands that share their values. Our Fairtrade supply chains provide our industry partners with the ability to achieve their recycling goals and delivering a message that resonates with consumers. I can’t wait to see how this investment will lead to positive change for the planet, people and the plastics industry” says Andrew Almack, Founder & CEO of Plastics For Change.
The problem of ocean plastic is accelerating at an alarming rate. The consumption rates of plastics are increasing rapidly in emerging economies and the waste management infrastructure needed to collect and recycle this waste has not kept pace. “Plastics For Change’s unique business model fortifies recycling businesses that pay waste-pickers decent incomes, train them in techniques that boost their incomes; transforming waste-pickers into “waste-preneurs”.
PFC is a great example of the type of business we like to support, with a significant potential to scale social and environmental impact in lockstep with commercial success” adds David Barley, Blue Investment Director at Mirova Natural Capital.
The platform builds transparency and accountability through the supply chain to enable brands to take responsibility for the materials they produce while also transitioning towards the circular economy. “Enabling responsible supply chains and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes is a vital step in the prevention of plastic pollution. The consumption of single-use plastic is currently surging because of the increase in home delivery and less packaging reuse. Plastics For Change’s unique, game-changing sourcing platform provides a scalable solution to combat the failing waste management system in emerging economies” – Myriam Shankar, COO, Plastics For Change.
Within the current context, the investment will also be used to aid in the recovery of a sector crippled by the coronavirus. The lockdown has demanded incredible change forcing millions of informal waste workers into dire levels of extreme poverty. In response to this, Plastics For Change has developed an ethical sourcing platform that connects these waste-pickers to global markets and ensures a predictable and dignified livelihood.
 Mirova, an affiliate Natixis Investment Managers, wholly owns Mirova Natural Capital (‘MNC’).
 The specialized investment fund is owned by Mirova and MNC and is managed by Alter Domus Management Company Luxembourg.
Mirova Natural Capital today announces the second close of the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (“SOF”), a fund dedicated to making pioneering impact investments into marine and coastal projects and enterprises that can deliver sustainable economic returns in fisheries, aquaculture, associated seafood supply chains, ocean waste & recycling and marine conservation. The fund’s total commitments are now more than $92 million. Mirova Natural Capital Limited is the investment advisor to the SOF.
Is it possible to create economic opportunities in the Amazon and protect the Rainforest at the same time? We believe so. Since 2015 Mirova has been investing in Brazil, and starting in September 2019, Mirova has deployed teams in Brazil as part of the launch of a new strategy dedicated to making pioneering impact investments in the Amazon. By building bridges between public and private institutions, blended finance is key to achieve the ecological transition, especially when it comes to biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and land restoration. Let's take stock with Nick Oakes, Investment Director Brazil at Mirova Natural Capital