SK Global Chemical Invests $10 Million with Closed Loop Partners to Scale Best-in-Class Plastics Recycling Solutions & Catalyze the Shift Toward a Circular Economy

By

July 27, 2021

With a rapidly evolving plastics industry and increasingly urgent climate challenges, SK Global Chemical joins leaders Dow, LyondellBasell & NOVA Chemicals, among others, in paving differentiated and globally sustainable ways forward for the industry

July 27, 2021, New York – Today, SK Global Chemical (SKGC) announced their investment in two of Closed Loop Partners’ funds––the Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund and the Closed Loop Leadership Fund––to advance circular business models, scalable recycling technologies, and materials recovery infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada. Their investment will help increase the supply of high-quality recycled content to meet growing demand, return valuable materials to manufacturing supply chains and ultimately reduce extraction of virgin resources. SKGC and Closed Loop Partners’ collaboration is a critical step in demonstrating what the future of a fully circular plastics system could look like and sending a market signal to others to spur recycling markets that must mature more quickly.

“Plastics manufacturers play a key role in building circular systems for plastics––they are at the early stages of the supply chain, helping determine the quality, sustainability and recyclability of the plastics that flow through the entire system. It’s critical that these stakeholders adapt to the changing times and expectations; antiquated business models that rely on virgin plastics are no longer viable when confronted with limited natural resources and mounting plastic waste,” says Ron Gonen, Founder & CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “SK Global Chemical’s investment in our funds helps catalyze circular plastics supply chains in the U.S. and Canada, while also providing for the exchange of best practices with Asia, accelerating a circular economy at a much larger scale.”

SKGC’s investment with Closed Loop Partners builds on their ‘Zero Plastic Waste’ goals and efforts to bolster innovations across the plastics recycling system. Under their “Green For Better Life” strategy, SKGC continues to grow plastics recycling capacity globally. The company aims to recycle 900 thousand tons of plastic waste per year by 2025, lower their use of plastics, and make all of its products eco-friendly, by 2027. SKGC has formed strategic partnerships with cutting-edge advanced plastics recycling companies in North America, invested on-the-ground in new facilities that transform plastic waste into virgin-like plastics, and continues to optimize mechanical recycling infrastructure to reduce overall virgin plastic consumption. One of the reasons SKGC chose to collaborate with Closed Loop Partners is to expand its connections to a roster of leading companies working toward the circular economy, comprising both multinationals with extensive scale and emerging innovators introducing differentiated sustainable solutions.  Their investment with Closed Loop Partners aligns with ambitions of their parent company, SK Innovation, to transition from  “carbon to green” by investing more than $20 billion in five years.

SKGC’s investment in Closed Loop Partners’ Circular Plastics Fund, launched in May with Founding Investors Dow, LyondellBasell and NOVA Chemicals, brings the Fund closer to its goal of deploying $100 million to advance the recovery of plastics in the U.S. and Canada. The Fund’s catalytic strategy fills investment gaps to spur recycling markets, attracting additional corporate investors and financial institutions and accelerating capital inflows beyond the Fund’s own commitments. The Fund will invest in three strategic areas to increase the amount of high-quality recycled plastic available:

  • Access – Increasing the collection of targeted polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics by advancing current and next-generation material collection systems, including transportation, logistics and recycling sortation technologies and infrastructure.
  • Optimization – Upgrading recycling systems to more efficiently aggregate, classify and sort the targeted plastics to increase the total amount of high-quality plastic, including food-grade and medical-grade plastic, sent for remanufacturing.
  • Manufacturing – Investing in facilities and equipment that manufacture finished products, packaging or related goods using recycled content, including recycled PE and PP.

The Closed Loop Leadership Fund, Closed Loop Partners’ private equity arm, is a complementary market rate strategy that proves the growth and profitability of circular economy business models. The Fund acquires and scales best-in-class companies along the value chain to build circular supply chains in the U.S.––focused on extending the useful life of materials, including plastics and packaging, organics, electronics and apparel. The Fund’s value creation strategy focuses on driving resilient profitability for businesses that optimize supply chains, keep materials out of landfill and advance the circular economy.

Since its founding in 2014, Closed Loop Partners has made more than 50 investments, diverting more than 4,600 million pounds of material from landfills and back into manufacturing supply chains. The New York-based investment firm and innovation center accelerates the circular economy through a suite of solutions––including investments and research in design innovation that reduces material use and resource extraction, reuse systems that extend the useful life of valuable materials, and mechanical recycling infrastructure and advanced recycling technologies that together help recover plastics. Building on its proven track record, and extensive ecosystem of entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions and municipalities in North America, Closed Loop Partners is well positioned to form key partnerships and drive strategic investments to advance SKGC’s goals.

Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Global Chemical says, “We aim to build systems that keep plastics in circulation, meeting the needs of people around the world, without compromising the natural environment. Our investment with Closed Loop Partners not only helps us advance these goals, but opens doors to new strategic partnerships with leading companies that share the same vision of advancing circular systems for plastics. As a plastics manufacturer, we recognize our responsibility in transforming plastics supply chains to collect and reuse existing materials, and know that collaborating across industries is essential to system-wide impact. We look forward to working with Closed Loop Partners and their network to drive toward our shared goals.”

In accordance with SKGC’s strategic imperatives, by 2025 SKGC will  invest  500 million USD to build a cutting edge advanced plastics recycling plant in Korea.

 

About Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprising venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions and municipalities, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. Learn more about Closed Loop Partners here.

About the Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund at Closed Loop Partners

The Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund provides catalytic financing to build circular economy infrastructure and improve the recovery of polypropylene and polyethylene plastic in the U.S. & Canada, returning plastics to more sustainable manufacturing supply chains for use as feedstock for future products and packaging. Learn more about the Fund’s investment criteria and apply for funding here.

About the Closed Loop Leadership Fund at Closed Loop Partners

The Closed Loop Leadership Fund is Closed Loop Partners’ market rate private equity fund, focused on acquiring and scaling best-in-class circular business models that are fundamental to keeping plastics and packaging, food and organics, electronics and textiles out of landfills and within a circular system. Learn more about the Closed Loop Leadership Fund here.

About SK Global Chemical

In 1972, SK global chemical laid the foundation for the development of the petrochemical industry by operating the first naphtha-cracking facility in Korea. They provide various automotive & packaging products and solutions required by customers and markets, and are growing into a technology-based global chemical company through continuous R&D efforts and global expansion.

SK global chemical will achieve its vision, ‘Green for Better Life’, by establishing a plastics-based circular economy, collaborating with various partners and stakeholders. They will expand their portfolio of eco-friendly products and will continuously recycle beyond the amount of plastics that they produce, in order to realize and leverage the sustainability efforts that will benefit our planet. Learn more about SKGC here.

Related posts

See all