Hot tickets and hollow promises: solutions to the plastic crisis Investor Briefing

September 2021 Report
Hot tickets and hollow promises: solutions to the plastic crisis Investor Briefing

Executive summary

Solutions to the plastic crisis come in many forms. However, not all solutions are created equal, and some are more financially and technically viable than others. A concerning level of attention is still being paid to unproven solutions, while major investment institutions lack a full understanding of the policy landscape and its implications.

The following factors will shape the context of the next decade of investor and corporate response to the plastics crisis:

  • Plastic production and pollution will continue to skyrocket, creating further public backlash and a high risk of stranded assets.
  • Consumer pressure will create increased scrutiny on corporate action and a mandate for more comprehensive legislation
  • Regulation will become an increasingly dominant market force, shaping which technologies win and fail.

Of the technologies covered in this report, we evaluate that:

  • Investors should avoid being drawn into the hype surrounding chemical recycling and should steward those they invest in away from reliance on these techniques, which are highly risky and potentially unviable.
  • Solutions related to separate collection and sorting technologies are a unique opportunity for investment in the short-to-medium term, because regulation indicates they will experience rapid growth.
  • Solutions aimed at scaling reuse and refill represent a suite of answers to the plastics crisis. Regulations such as all-in deposit-return systems also favour refill enterprises and pave the way for new business opportunities.

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