Multicoloured Plastic Pellets

Future of Plastics Fund makes key first investment

24 May 2022

The Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd (AGF), a subsidiary of climate action NGO WRAP, today announced a first key investment made on behalf of the Future of Plastics Fund, a new Circular Economy impact fund being established by Archipelago Eco Investors to focus on the interlinked issues of plastic waste and climate. 

This first investment on behalf of the Future of Plastics Fund is into Greyparrot, a cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) Waste Recognition System and Analytics Platform which will enable better sorting of plastics and other waste streams.

The Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd has committed to invest into the Future of Plastics Fund, a new impact fund which will provide Venture Capital investment into SMEs developing technologies to address key barriers to circularity in the plastics sector. As part of their commitment, AGF has made an investment on behalf of the Future of Plastics Fund, into Greyparrot AI, who’s innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Waste Recognition System will automate waste composition analysis and the monitoring, auditing, and sorting of waste flows at scale in UK, Europe and globally.  The Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd will ‘warehouse’* the investment until the Future of Plastics Fund reaches a ‘first close’, later this year. 

Investment in the company is part of a Series A investment round which will enable Greyparrot to grow and expand across the waste management sector, and into new waste streams – including some from the world’s heaviest polluting industries. The Greyparrot AI-powered computer vision system has already analysed over ten billion packaging items in sorting plants to increase recycling rates and introduce accountability to the waste value chain.

The Future of Plastics Fund is being launched to provide catalytic investment into scalable technologies and solutions across the plastics economy, from packaging to textiles and e-commerce. An Article 9 Impact Fund, it will invest in a portfolio of SMEs to support upstream innovation in novel materials, in material efficiency, in delivery and re-use models and in design for end of life. It will also support downstream solutions targeting increased collection, sorting, cleaning and recycling of plastics with particular interest in hard to recycle materials such as laminates, films and textiles, and microplastics in industry and agriculture which have significant impact on human and ocean health.

With investment and support from Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd and parent company WRAP, and with other committed institutional investors, Family Offices and High Net Worth investors, The Future of Plastics Fund is looking to achieve a First Close in late 2022 and a final close of €100m targeted in 2023.

Claire Shrewsbury, Director of Insights and Innovation at WRAP the AGF parent company said “There is an urgent need for investment which can support new infrastructure to increase plastic recycling. Currently many of the technologies capable of addressing barriers in the plastic supply chains are still at a relatively early stage of development and need financial support to develop and come on stream. If we are to see an increase in recycling rates globally, and a reduction in plastic waste in the environment, then we need to support these innovative new technologies which is why the Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd is investing into the new Future of Plastic Fund.

“The funding required for new technologies to achieve scale is lacking and investment into the plastics economy is essential to enable brands and members of the UK Plastics Pact to meet our ambitious targets.”

Lucy Mortimer, Partner at the Future of Plastics Fund said, “Much of the plastic that enters our economy never gets recycled. Problematic packaging formats and ineffective sorting means much can end up in landfill rather than finding value in the Circular Economy. Investment in Greyparrot will enable more Material Recovery Facilities here in the UK, in Europe and across the US to achieve a higher degree of sorting and a greater proportion of plastic being recycled. And crucially, Greyparrot will produce data which can change the way plastic waste is valued. We are delighted to be able to support Greyparrot in their Series A fundraise.” 

Greyparrot uses cutting-edge AI vision technology to monitor, analyze and sort large volumes of waste at scale. Its innovative technology can be easily integrated into existing waste facilities across the UK and Europe and enable waste handlers to increase recycling rates through integration with sorting hardware and robotics, allowing more waste to be sorted and to a better standard to generate higher quality feedstock for recycling.

The approach will also provide valuable data for brands and retailers relevant to their potential Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligations in the UK, and worldwide, introducing a previously impossible degree of accountability into the waste value chain.

Notes to Editor

  • Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd is a subsidiary of WRAP investing in circular economy businesses and funds. WRAP is a climate action NGO working around the globe to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and give the planet a sustainable future. Our vision is a thriving world in which climate change is no longer a problem. We believe that our natural resources should not be wasted and that everything we use should be re-used and recycled. We bring together and work with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably. Our core purpose is to help tackle climate change and protect our planet by changing the way things are produced, consumed and disposed of.
  • Future of Plastics Fund is a new impact investment Fund currently being established by Archipelago Eco Investors, to support technologies developing IP-led solutions which can avoid plastic entering the economy or bring it back into the circular economy at the end of its useful life. Plastics and climate are closely linked, as fossil fuels form the primary feedstock for plastic production. The Fund is bringing impact-aligned investors to help unlock solutions which can change the way plastic is produced and recycled and be successfully deployed at scale with commercial and strategic partners in developed markets and emerging economies. With a team of experienced climate finance and plastics specialists, the Fund will be launching later in 2022.
  • Greyparrot is the leading AI waste analytics platform for the circular economy on a mission to increase transparency and automation in waste management and unlock the financial value of waste. Greyparrot uses cutting edge AI computer vision systems, deployed globally in sorting facilities to monitor, analyse, and sort large waste flows at scale. Greyparrot provides waste analytics and new insights to waste managers, producers and regulators to increase recycling rates and introduce accountability to the waste value chain. Founded in 2019, the company is already working with leaders in waste management including Suez, Veolia and Biffa. Greyparrot is now recognised as one of “Europe's 100 Hottest Startups” by WIRED in 2021 as well as a Top 100 most promising AI company globally by CB Insights. The company’s vision is to ultimately create a world where every piece of waste is valued as a resource.
  • *“Warehouse” is a term commonly used to describe an investment made by a committed Limited Partner to a new Fund which is still in formation, made on behalf of the Fund and intended to be transferred to the Fund at the point of formation. “First Close” is the conclusion of an initial fundraising round for a Fund.
  • WRAP experts are available for broadcast interviews, briefings and comment – contact: Ian Palmer Media Relations Manager [email protected] 07802 873 431
  • Future of Plastic Fund interviews and comment – contact: Lucy Mortimer, Partner [email protected] 07972 129694