The consortium will use the additional funding to strengthen the sustainable packaging ecosystem by advancing the customer research and testing of reusable packaging systems
NextGen Consortium, managed by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy, has secured an additional $10m funding from Starbucks and McDonald’s to boost the circularity of foodservice packaging and address the urgent waste challenge.
The funding will enable the consortium to continue its work of detecting, boosting and scaling commercially viable, circular foodservice packaging solutions.
Coca-Cola has also agreed to serve as a sector lead partner to deliver sustainable packaging solutions for its broad customer base. JDE Peet’s, Wendy’s and Yum! Brands also continue as supporting partners to scale the sustainable efforts.
The consortium will use the additional funding to strengthen the sustainable packaging ecosystem by advancing the customer research and testing of reusable packaging systems.
It will also focus on the studying of the circularity of additional packaging materials such as polypropylene (PP), in addition to boosting the development of more recyclable and compostable fibre-based packaging solutions and the infrastructure pathways required for their recovery.
Last year, the consortium joined The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition as a Steering Committee member to focus more on polypropylene. It also worked to gather funding for recycling facilities to boost polypropylene recycling.
Closed Loop Partners’ Centre for the Circular Economy managing director Kate Daly said: “Through NextGen, we’ve made great progress in growing more sustainable packaging solutions, and there is a lot more work to be done.
“Faced with increasing climate risks, eco-conscious customers and a resource-constrained world, the foodservice industry must double down on its efforts and band together to strategically tackle the mounting waste challenge.”
Since 2018, the NextGen Consortium has been working to advance sustainable packaging innovation and recycling infrastructure to reduce foodservice packaging waste.
Initially, the consortium worked on redesigning the single-use hot and cold fibre cup. Its NextGen Cup Challenge will help source 480 solutions to redesign the cup.
In 2019 and 2020, Accelerator teams conducted on-the-ground tests at a large tech company’s campus with four solutions including, two reusable systems, moving to the pilot phase across 14 local, independent cafes in the San Francisco Bay area.