The European Investment Fund (EIF) has invested €50m in the fund manager Infinity Recycling’s Circular Plastics Fund. The fund supports companies developing new chemical recycling technologies for plastic waste. With a target size of €150m, the fund aims to bolster these companies’ growth, the European Commission announced last week.
"Establishing a true circular economy also requires industrial solutions that allow plastics to be recycled fully, efficiently and many times over,” noted Virginijus Sinkevičius, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. "Today’s funding through InvestEU will help innovative European companies advance a circular plastics industry, acting as a booster for the EU’s green transition,” he added.
Since plastics lose many of their favourable properties during conventional (mechanical) recycling (food-safety, strength and elasticity), the Circular Plastics Fund supported advanced recycling technologies. They included chemical processes that enabled the complete recycling of plastic waste at the end of their life and the production of new plastics with virgin-equivalent properties, the EIF commented.
"Demand for the use of recycled commodities in plastics production is on the rise, but only a few advanced plastics recycling technologies have been able to achieve commercial scale," added Jeroen Kelder, managing partner at Infinity Recycling. "While these technologies are often viable, many companies lack the specialised financial structuring and business development skills required to scale up production, source high-quality inputs and establish supply agreements with offtake counterparties. We are thrilled by this investment from the EIF, which pushes our Circular Plastics Fund beyond the €105m threshold and empowers us to accelerate circularity in the plastics industry through an impact-driven strategy."
The fund helps companies with scalable technologies that need funding for the industrial and commercial scale-up of their activities. The Circular Plastics Fund is headquartered in Luxembourg and is managed by the Rotterdam-based fund manager Infinity Recycling BV.
The EIF investment was supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB) as well as by the InvestEU programme. The latter aims to mobilise over €372bn in additional investment for EU policy priorities over the 2021-27 period.