Morgan Stanley leads the charge as the first major Wall Street firm committed to reduce plastic waste
Plastic isn’t only bad for the environment, it’s bad for the wallet too. Take the notorious plastic bag: with over 2.8 billion bags used in one day, these small plastic terrors add millions of pounds of pollution to the ocean every year. As for the economic part, up to $120 billion is spent annually on waste practices for these single-use bags alone. And with over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic being produced since 1950, these bags are only one major problem affecting our environment.1
Addressing the plastic problem is complex since it calls for a total revamp of the life-cycle of the product – or an elimination of the industry in general. Neither of which are an overnight fix.
Recently, Morgan Stanley has pledged to make a change. In April, the company introduced the Plastic Waste Resolution with a goal of preventing, reducing, and removing at least 50 million metric tons of plastic waste by 2030. They hope to leverage their team and relationships in both the financial markets and communities in order to tackle the negative effects in multiple ways.2
And so far, they have. Since the program was initiated, the team is supporting initiatives in the following ways3:
- Underwrote a $10 million blue bond which focuses on plastic waste reduction efforts in ocean and promotes marine resources
- Launched a new suite of impact portfolios on its Investing with Impact Platform – these portfolios align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Climate Action and/or Life Below Water
- Led a $1 billion green bond which will support a company’s sustainability initiatives including its commitment to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content by 2025
- Hosted an inaugural Sustainable Investing Summit bringing together thought leaders in the impact industry to help create and share more ideas to address the reduction of plastic waste
Hopefully more companies – of all shapes and sizes – will join along with similar efforts and initiatives to positively impact this issue.