Closed Loop Partners Collaborates with PepsiCo, the NextGen Consortium & Other Leading Brands to Advance Composting Infrastructure & Recover Compostable Packaging and Food Scraps

Closed Loop Partners Collaborates with PepsiCo, the NextGen Consortium & Other Leading Brands to Advance Composting Infrastructure & Recover Compostable Packaging and Food Scraps

November 9, 2021

ReFED serves as Advisory Partner for the new Composting Consortium, which aims to pilot industry-wide solutions and build a roadmap for investment in technologies and infrastructure to address the growth in production of compostable food packaging 

Nov 9, New York, NY – Today, the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners announced the launch of the Composting Consortium, together with Founding Partners PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium. PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium, which is composed of Starbucks, McDonald’s and other foodservice brands, are joined by Supporting Partners Colgate-Palmolive, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation, as well as Industry Partners the Biodegradable Products Institute and the U.S. Plastics Pact. The Consortium brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to identify the best path forward to increase the recovery of compostable food packaging and drive toward circular outcomes. 

These key stakeholders are uniting at a critical time as the landscape around compostable packaging and composting infrastructure rapidly evolves. Currently, the demand for alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based single-use plastic packaging is rising, and the market for compostable packaging is poised to grow 17% annually between 2020 and 20271. Compostable packaging presents potential environmental, economic and social benefits, diverting food packaging and food scraps within the packaging toward composting infrastructure, and mitigating the greenhouse gases emitted when these otherwise end up in landfill. To meet the growth in compostable packaging, there needs to be more widely available composting infrastructure to fully recover the value of these materials. 

The Composting Consortium recognizes the current challenges in this growing packaging sector and calls for unity and clarity across stakeholders. New compostable materials need to be researched with diligence and deployed strategically as one line of defense against waste. There is no quick fix to a complex global waste challenge, and the Consortium looks to chart a clear pathway forward for the industry. 

The Consortium will work across multiple workstreams to identify best practices for consumer understanding of compostable packaging labeling and collection; establish when compostable versus reusable or recyclable packaging applications are most appropriate; collaborate on best practices to inform policy making; and build an investment roadmap for expanding composting infrastructure to recover compostable packaging and food scraps. It brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to increase the recovery of valuable resources otherwise lost to landfill. Consortium Advisory Partners include Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Google, ReFED, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), TIPA Corp Ltd., University College London and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 

“With current market forces and environmental challenges driving the growth of compostable packaging, there has never been a more critical time to collectively advance labeling, testing and infrastructure investments related to the recovery of compostable food packaging and food scraps,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “We’re excited to work together with leading brands and retailers, including PepsiCo and the partners of the NextGen Consortium, as well as the entire composting value chain––from global brands to composters and packaging manufacturers––to accelerate much-needed solutions.” 

“Knowing how important packaging is––to protect the safety, quality and freshness of our products, extend their shelf life and limit food waste––we understand how critical it is to advance holistic solutions that prevent packaging from becoming waste. Building on our initiatives to improve the circularity of compostable packaging, we are thrilled to work toward this goal as a Founding Partner of the Composting Consortium,” says Burgess Davis, VP Global Sustainable Packaging and Sustainability Strategy at PepsiCo. “This unprecedented collaboration with the NextGen Consortium and leading foodservice and consumer goods brands can forge a clear path forward for compostable packaging, strengthening it as a viable alternative to plastics and preventing it from going to waste.” 

“There is increasing awareness of the climate risks posed by food scraps being wasted in landfills, alongside the challenges of waste from packaging that is not getting recycled. This is driving broad support for a change to the status quo, including a desire for widespread access to composting and innovative compostable packaging that can be composted with the food," noted Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director of the Biodegradable Products Institute. “Collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders is critical, which the Composting Consortium brings together so we can make quick progress.” 

About the Composting Consortium

The Composting Consortium is a multi-year collaboration across the entire value chain to pilot industry-wide solutions and build a roadmap for investment in technologies and infrastructure that enable the recovery of compostable food packaging and food scraps. The Composting Consortium is managed by Closed Loop Partners' Center for the Circular Economy. PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium are founding partners of the Consortium. Hill's Pet Nutrition parent company Colgate-Palmolive, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation joined as supporting partners, and the Biodegradable Products Institute and the U.S. Plastics Pact joined as industry partners. Our advisory partners include Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Google, ReFED, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), TIPA Corp Ltd., University College London and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Learn more about the Consortium here.

About the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center. In 2018, Closed Loop Partners launched its innovation center, the Center for the Circular Economy, which unites competitors to tackle complex material challenges and to implement systemic change that advances the circular economy. Closed Loop Partners brings together designers, manufacturers, recovery systems operators, trade organizations, municipalities, policymakers and NGOs to create, invest in, and support scalable innovations that target big system problems. Learn more about the Center's work here.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. PepsiCo recently introduced pep+ (pep Positive), a strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the center of how the company will create growth and value by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

About the NextGen Consortium

The NextGen Consortium is a multi-year consortium that addresses single-use food packaging waste globally by advancing the design, commercialization and recovery of food packaging alternatives. The NextGen Consortium is managed by Closed Loop Partners' Center for the Circular Economy. Starbucks and McDonald's are the founding partners of the Consortium, with The Coca-Cola Company joining as a sector lead partner. JDE Peet's, Wendy's and Yum! Brands are supporting partners. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the environmental advisory partner. Learn more at www.nextgenconsortium.com.

Contact: beatrice@closedlooppartners.com

1 Data Bridge Market Research

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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