Fund targeting Asia's plastic waste crisis launched

05, Dec. 2019

SINGAPORE, Kyodo - An investment fund targeted at waste management and recycling projects in Asia was launched Wednesday by a Singapore-based capital fund management firm, backed by some of the world's biggest consumer products and chemical makers.

The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund is the world's first investment fund focusing on Asia's plastic crisis, Circulate Capital LLC said in a statement.

The $106 million fund's founding investors include PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

The fund aims to address the financing gap between available private capital and resources needed by Asia's waste sector, targeting waste management, recycling, and so-called circular economy start-ups.

Circulate Capital said it has identified more than 200 investment opportunities across a range of industries in the region, with the first investments expected by early next year.

"The good news is that we are able to reduce nearly 50 percent of the world's plastic leakage by investing in the waste and recycling sector in Asia, and even more if we invest in innovative materials and technologies," Rob Kaplan, chief executive officer of Circulate Capital, said in the statement.

Asia is the biggest source of plastic leakage into global oceans, with 60 percent of ocean plastic originating from the region

The Washington-based environmental nonprofit organization Ocean Conservancy has identified a net financing gap between $28 and $40 per ton for plastic waste collection in the five top ocean polluting countries in the world -- China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Kaplan said at a press conference that his firm is in communication with many companies across Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and India that buy waste plastics.

"Somebody needs to add value to it, and that's when you can start to integrate new business models but also technology to clean, sort and process them...into a commodity that can be sold," he said. (Kyodo)