Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) is the latest major beverage corporation to back its stated commitment to sustainability with financial investment.
Last month, Nestlé Waters North America partnered with the Closed Loop Fund and invested $6 million as part of a shared effort among business, government and community partners to fund comprehensive recycling infrastructure and programs in cities across the United States.
…only 30% of the waste stream actually gets recycled in the US.
Nestlé Waters joined the ranks of some of the world’s largest companies – including 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain, PepsiCo and the PespiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart, and the Walmart Foundation – as part of Closed Loop Fund, a $100 million social impact investment fund committed to finding a national solution to the critical recycling gap in the U.S.
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 actually gets recycled. Aside from the environmental impacts, municipalities and businesses in the U.S. spent over $5 billion in 2015 disposing of waste in landfills. Much of this waste, such as PET plastic, is in demand among manufacturers as raw material for everything from textiles to packaging.
“The United States has one of the lowest recycling rates of any industrialized country, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. The U.S. has an opportunity to lead the way in recycling, while creating jobs, economic growth, and a more sustainable future,” says Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “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 has diverted more than 100,000 tons of recyclable content, and the 11 projects currently funded are poised to divert 4 million tons by 2025. 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 $40M economic benefit to municipalities;
- 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,” said 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.”
As a company, we are on a very deliberate journey toward zero landfill waste in our products and operations.
Nelson Switzer, CSO, Nestlé Waters North America
This investment in Closed Loop Fund is just the latest in Nestlé Waters’ efforts to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future for individuals and families, communities, and for the planet. Having pioneered the lightweight bottle, the company has reduced the plastic content of its bottles by over 60% since 1994.
Just last month, Nestlé Waters reached a critical milestone in its use of recycled plastic content (rPET), announcing that 9 out of 10 of its California-born Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water bottles incorporate 50% post-consumer recycled plastic content. As a result, 1.8 billion bottles have been kept from landfills, and the 86 million pounds of recycled plastic has saved 69,660 tons of carbon emissions – the equivalent of 39,000 round trip flights from New York to Los Angeles.