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Partnering to Increase Recycling in the U.S.

This morning I participated in an important event with Walmart in Arkansas, and I’m thrilled to share my experiences with you now. Alongside the senior executives of Pepsi, Goldman Sachs, P&G and Unilever (to name a few), I announced on behalf of our company that we would became a founding partner of the Closed Loop Fund. What is the Closed Loop Fund? Well, simply put, it’s an innovative investment vehicle that will help finance projects aimed at increasing recycling in the U.S.

This fund, one of the first of its kind, will make low-interest loans — not grants — to specific projects resulting in a more sustainable flow of funding for recycling efforts. These loans will be available for four types of projects: large-scale recycling carts/capacity equipment, organics processing facilities, emerging technologies, and community education/campaigns. Johnson & Johnson is a founding partner, along with other companies that are the first to commit to the fund.

So why are we involved and why is this so exciting for us?

You know babies hold a special place in our hearts at J&J, as we know that “Our Babies Will Inherit Our Planet®.” That is why we are committed, today and every day, to care for the planet that cares for us. Our Credo values call for us to be responsible stewards of the environment and to take care of the natural resources we are privileged to use. For us, environmental health is human health. Sustainability is more than caring for the planet — it’s operating in a way that is good for people AND the planet AND business.

Our participation in the Closed Loop Fund reflects a specific commitment to help increase recycling in the U.S. In fact,we recently launched our second CARE TO RECYCLE® campaign to raise awareness of recycling throughout the house, especially in the bathroom. While 70% of people say they consistently recycle, our research tells us only 1 in 5 people say they consistently recycle in the bathroom. This is a huge disconnect that we at Johnson & Johnson see the opportunity to help bridge this gap.

You may not be aware, but about 550 million bottles of shampoo end up in landfills every year – you could literally fill up 1,160 football fields with the number of shampoo bottles that end up in a landfill! That’s why when we learned about the Closed Loop Fund, we were so excited to see how our efforts were aligning. With the Closed Loop Fund aiming to increase access to recycling among U.S. households and CARE TO RECYCLE®aiming to build awareness of what and how to recycle among Americans, it’s a perfect match.

Big challenges require big solutions. We need collaboration and partnership to achieve scale and impact. We’re excited to partner with a group of like-minded companies and work together to create a healthier future for generations to come. You can read more about the partnership here.


Roberto Marques has been with Johnson & Johnson for more than two decades and has led teams to significant business accomplishments across sectors and geographies. He started in the Consumer business in Brazil in 1987. In addition to Company Group Chairman, Consumer North America, Roberto serves as Global Chief Customer Officer and is a member of the Consumer Group Operating Committee.