Mirova’s UK subsidiary has invested $2m (€1.81m) in recycling company Plastics For Change to support its expansion across coastal communities in India and South Asia.
It carried out the investment via a specialised impact fund, the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund, which provides growth capital to companies that harness the ocean’s natural capital.
The mission of the Indian recycling company is to use plastic waste as a resource to address social issues. It supports waste-pickers by offering fair and predictable prices for the ocean-bound plastic they collect.
The lockdown has forced millions of informal waste workers into extreme poverty, Mirova said. In response to this, Plastics For Change has developed an ethical sourcing platform that uses mobile technology to ensure waste-pickers have a dignified livelihood.
Transparent supply chains
The platform gives companies access to high-quality recycled plastic material from transparent and responsible supply chains and is Fairtrade verified.
Myriam Shankar, chief operating officer of Plastics For Change, said: “The consumption of single-use plastic is currently surging because of the increase in home delivery and less packaging reuse.
“Enabling responsible supply chains and extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes is a vital step in the prevention of plastic pollution.”
David Barley, investment director at Mirova Natural Capital, added: “Plastics For Change’s unique business model fortifies recycling businesses that pay waste-pickers decent incomes, [and] train them in techniques that boost their incomes; transforming waste-pickers into ‘waste-preneurs’.”
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, Mirova said.
Shankar explained that its platform provides a scalable solution to combat the failing waste management system in emerging economies.