The circular economy presents a specific and unique opportunity for corporate, private and development finance investors to capture the value of plastic waste as well as to meaningfully mitigate the climate impacts of plastic pollution, especially in Asia.
According to Circulate Capital, we could eliminate almost 150 million tonnes of GHG from the environment if we prevented 100% of the plastic leakage in India and Indonesia by 2030. That is the same amount of GHG savings derived from shutting down 40 coal-fired power plants.
When looking at both the cost of inaction and the returns of sustainable investments, investing in climate resilient infrastructure and in the circular economy makes sound economic sense. Accenture estimates that globally, the circular economy could generate $4.5 trillion of additional economic output by 2030. As a consumption and production powerhouse, Asia has the potential to showcase the circular economy at scale.
The main challenge is to attract the billions of dollars needed to scale solutions that will transform the way plastic products are designed, produced, consumed and recycled, and bring the waste management infrastructure to the next century. To catalyze the capital needed, we must prove that investing in this sector is scalable and can generate attractive returns, while meeting sustainability and ESG targets.