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Managing Editor  | October 2017

Ocean Conservancy to raise $150 million to address waste management in Asia


The Ocean Conservancy recently announced that its partners, including the Trash Free Alliance, Closed Loop Partners, PepsiCo, 3M, Procter & Gamble, the American Chemistry Council, and the World Plastics Council, all agreed to a new initiative to raise more than $150 million to fund waste management and recycling solutions in Southeast Asia.

 

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The Ocean Conservancy and its partners are raising funds to fight plastic waste in Asia. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

The organizations agreed to this initiative at the Our Ocean 2017 conference in the first week of October in Malta.

 

According to a press release from the Ocean Conservancy, the funding will primarily focus on improving collection, sorting, and recycling because nearly half of the plastic waste that enters the oceans each year, estimated at 8 million metric tons, comes from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and China.

 

“This is a major breakthrough in the fight for trash free seas,” said Susan Ruffo, managing director of international initiatives at Ocean Conservancy.

 

“Our research has found that by improving waste management in Southeast Asian countries, we can cut the flow of plastic going in the ocean by half by 2025. A funding mechanism will take this goal from dream to reality, and support efforts by governments and local groups on the ground to improve their livelihoods and well-being while also improving ocean health.”

 

Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focusing on recycling technology, will operate the funding mechanism to spur investments, create new solutions, and build waste management projects.

 

“Through this initiative, we will invest in and support the municipalities, entrepreneurs, investors and NGOs working to reduce ocean plastics and improve waste management in Southeast Asia,” said Rob Kaplan of Closed Loop Partners. “Our model is to take the best practices in waste management investment, leverage the world’s largest consumer goods supply chains, and marry them with on-the-ground partner expertise and work.”

 

The press release from the Ocean Conservancy added, “This initiative aims to solve the root causes of plastics in the ocean by investing in the systems and emerging technologies needed to capture and transform waste into valuable commodities before it reaches marine environments, while also providing tangible benefits to communities.”

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