Alliance to End Plastic Waste launches $500m ‘circular plastics’ fund

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) was launched in 2019 by 26 companies representing chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods firms, retailers and manufacturers across the plastics value chain. The membership has since grown to more than 70 firms.

AEPW members committed $1bn in committed funding to scale solutions that minimise the amount of plastic in the environment by utilising closed-loop solutions. AEPW has set a goal of investing $1.5bn over the next five years.

The first Alliance members were: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A., Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, P&G, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).

These businesses have this week unveiled a $500m circular plastic fund to be managed by Lombard Odier Investment Managers.

The fund will support initiatives such as collection and sorting, technology that improves recycling infrastructure, reuse and recyclability. It will also support production of materials that can be treated more easily at the end of life compared to plastics, of which just 9% has been recycled globally.

The AEPW’s president Jacob Duer said: “Our goal in partnering with Lombard Odier in relation to a circular plastic strategy is to grow investments in solutions that can help end plastic waste and contribute to a circular economy.

“The strategy harnesses the collective intelligence of the plastic value chain and connects it with capital, bringing much-needed solutions to scale. I am confident this will help focus financial market attention on the investment opportunity that plastic circularity represents, and help to catalyse multiple sources of financing for investments in circular solutions for plastic waste.”

The Alliance has come under fire in recent years, due to an alleged failure to meet funding and clean up targets, with some organisations suggesting that it is “merely a marketing ploy” for big oil companies. The Alliance’s members notably include Exxon, Dow, Total, Shell and Chevron Phillips.

The AEPW’s first progress report was published in September 2020, confirming that the 2025 targets for the Alliance are unlocking at least five times the initial $400m investment made by founding members; delivering multiple zero-plastic cities; diverting more millions of tonnes of plastic waste from landfill, incineration and dumping in 100 at-risk cities and supporting more than 100 million people with paid roles in waste management.

Since then, membership has grown to more than 70 organisations, while technology and consulting giant IBM has joined as a partner to help develop a data platform hosted on IBM Cloud to help track plastic waste and recovery globally.

The Plastics Recovery Insight and Steering Model (PRISM) will act as a single data collection point for corporates and NGOs to access data that will inform waste management decisions.

edie’s Circular Economy Week

Circular Economy Week 2022 (23 – 27 May) is edie’s themed week of editorial content and events dedicated to supporting sustainability, energy and resource efficiency professionals in accelerating the transition to an economy free from waste and single-use plastics.

Registration is now open for an afternoon of back-to-back online webinars and discussions focused on how businesses can improve approaches to the circular economy and reduce waste.

Hosted during edie’s special Circular Economy Week of digital content and events, the Circular Economy Inspiration Sessions offer up an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions – all dedicated to capturing the business opportunity of a resource-efficient, zero-waste economy.

Find out more and register here.

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