Circulate Capital invests in Thai recycling company; also closes US$73 mn Climate Tech Fund, ups total assets to US$255 mn

Ineos acquires LyondellBasell’s EO/derivatives biz for US$700 mn

Singapore-based circular economy investment management firm Circulate Capital has announced a new investment in Thai polyolefins recycler Union J.Plus (UJP). The new capital will enable female-owned and led UJP to strengthen its operations and accelerate its scale-up through both organic growth and M&A, starting with the acquisition of an existing 18,000 tonnes/year capacity LDPE recycling facility located in Samut Prakan.

When fully operational, UJP expects its total recycling capacity to exceed 30,000 tonnes/year, including 20,000 tonnes/year of premium/food-grade polyolefins.

One of the few female-owned and led recycling businesses in the region, UJP is headed by industry veterans who are leveraging their 20 years of experience to position the company as one of Thailand’s leading polyolefins recyclers.

The strategic investment also marks Circulate Capital’s first venture in Thailand, expanding its recycling portfolio – already the largest in South and Southeast Asia. 

In Thailand alone, around 2 million tonnes/year of plastic waste is generated – of which only a quarter is recycled. Research estimates the country loses up to US$4 billion annually when plastics are discarded rather than recycled into valuable materials. Comparatively, adopting a circular economy can unlock as much as US$1.6 billion in cost savings and additional revenue for Thailand’s private sector.

With the first circular economy fund in Asia to be backed by global brands, including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and Mondelēz International, Circulate Capital’s partnership with UJP will also provide the company with access to global supply chains and allows them to tap into the R&D and technical expertise of leading corporations.

Meanwhile in related news, Circulate Capital has announced the final close of the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund I-B (CCOF I-B), bringing the fund’s total Assets Under Management (AUM) to US$73 million and the firm’s total AUM to US$255 million. CCOF I-B invests in two complementary strategies aimed at tackling the plastic pollution crisis and fighting climate change:

  • Circulate Capital Disrupt (CCD): climate-tech investments in breakthrough innovations that reduce the need for virgin plastics and limit greenhouse gas emissions across the sustainable fashion, biotech and AI, and smart materials sectors.

  • Circulate Capital Recycling Supply Chains: growth investments that transform recycling and waste management supply chains in South and Southeast Asia (SSEA), scaling the highest-potential solutions and replicating their success.

Circulate Capital also announced that it has secured a US$7 million commitment from British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor. This marks the firm’s fourth investment from a DFI, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Proparco, a subsidiary of the French AFD Group, with total commitments from DFIs now reaching US$32 million.

These commitments are expected to help catalyse institutional investment into enterprises that develop solutions to combat plastic waste in Asia.


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