Walmart joins forces with multinational companies to develop recycling fund

US retail giant Walmart has brought together members of its supply chain with the aim of developing a $100m 'Closed Loop Fund' to improve the US' recycling record.

Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon

Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon

The recycling fund is designed to increase recycling rates in the US by providing low interest loans to municipalities to advance projects that increase collection and improve recycling infrastructure.

The US retailer, which owns Asda in the UK, hosted a number of its suppliers at its Sustainable Product Expo including the chief executives and presidents from companies such as Kellogg, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and Procter & Gamble and a number of these will be supporting the fund.

According to consumer goods giant P&G, the "solution requires innovation across the entire system, from manufacturer to supplier to consumer".

P&G also said that the "solution" will require "manufacturers to innovate new technologies to incorporate recycled materials into brand packaging".

Elsewhere, Walmart also previewed plans to create a sustainability store on its website. The shopping portal, expected to launch by the end of 2014, will allow customers to easily identify brands that are leading sustainability within a category via a special icon.

Speaking about the new fund, Walmart Stores president and chief executive Doug McMillon said: "Walmart and our suppliers recognise that collaboration is the key to bringing sustainable solutions to all our customers. A great deal of innovative work is happening every day, but there are still too many gaps and missed opportunities.

"Today's commitments are about creating real systems change from one end of the supply chain to the other - meaning how products are grown and made, how they're transported and sold, and how we touch the lives of people along the way."

P&G chief executive A.G. Lafley added: "The 'Closed Loop Fund' is an innovative step toward providing a systemic solution. By enabling local municipalities to invest in ways to increase local recycling, it gives more consumers consistent and reliable ways to reduce waste by recycling more of their everyday products.

"That will, in turn, enable a larger supply of usable, recyclable content, which will enable manufactures to give consumers what they want--more packaging with recycled materials.

"This is good for consumers, and good for the environment."

Liz Gyekye
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