Robert Kaplan, Walmart’s sustainability director is leaving the US retailer to become managing director of the Closed Loop Fund, a recycling initiative that aims to provide 100 percent of US consumers with access to recycling where and when they need it.
Kaplan had been serving as an advisor to the Closed Loop Fund.
The recycling fund plans to invest $100 million over the next five years to scale recycling through zero-interest loans to cities and investments in waste management companies. The founding members of the Closed Loop Fund include Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart and Goldman Sachs. The fund was launched at Walmart’s inaugural Sustainable Product Expo to provide municipalities with access to capital to build recycling programs.
Closed Loop Fund opened its application process in October for municipalities and private entities. Zero-interest loans are repaid from either landfill diversion savings or revenue generated from the sale of recyclable material. Companies that service municipalities may also apply — interest rates will be below market rates.
Several months after the Closed Loop Fund kicked off, a consortium of recycling-focused organizations has slammed the recycling loan program for being ineffectual, and called upon the companies involved to instead back what they term proven policies to boost recycling such as extended producer responsibility.