MUMBAI: Bangalore-based Plastics For Change (PFC), a recycled plastic supply chain organisation, has raised $2 million from Mirova Natural Capital, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.
The funding will support PFC’s business model to help coastal communities across India and South Asia to prevent discarded plastics from entering the ocean-bound waterways.
“In addition to this, the investment will enable an increasing number of brands and manufacturers access high-quality recycled plastic material from transparent and responsible supply chains,” according to PFC.
The funding round was led by Mirova through The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund, an investment vehicle dedicated to creation of value and social impact by providing growth capital to companies that harness the ocean’s natural capital.
PFC wants 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,” said Andrew Almack, founder and chief executive officer, PFC
With the rise in plastic consumption, pollution in oceans is increasing at an alarming rate. However, the infrastructure needed to collect and recycle this waste has not able to gather pace.
PFC said its unique business model fortifies recycling businesses that pay waste-pickers decently, trains 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” said David Barley, Blue Investment director at Mirova Natural Capital.
The capital will also be used to aid the recovery of the waste-management sector crippled by 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,” said Almack.