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Fund Managers Concerned over Plastic Waste


Fund Managers have begun to question the use and disposal of plastic in companies in which they invest.  BMO Global is actively reviewing disposal of plastic waste with 27 companies with specific emphasis on recycling and elimination of single-use packaging.


It must be remembered that fund managers played an important role in initiating awareness over welfare and sustainability among restaurants and the food-service industry resulting in  direct implications for producers.


Alice Evans, co-head of the responsible investment team at BMO stated, “Plastic waste is a business risk that companies know they will have to address rapidly.  We want to see commitments were they don’t exist already but implementation is key.”


Schroeder’s with over $500 million under management has addressed questionnaires to 100 companies requesting information on food and beverage packaging waste disposal and recycling.  Seema Suchak a sustainable investment analysis at Schroeder’s quote in the Financial Times noted, “There was a real dearth of information on the variety of plastics used, the volume of plastics in packaging and the extent of recycled materials.”  She added “This make comparisons between companies the same sector problematic.”


The need to reduce the use of plastic and to introduce recycling was intensified by the 2018 decision by China to cease importing plastic waste.


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Program has established an initiative to reduce plastic waste by 2025.  Sixteen governments, twenty-six financial institutions and 150 companies producing or using plastic packaging have signed on to the program to eliminate plastic and recycle or safely reuse material that cannot eliminated from the commercial chain.  Six investment companies have collectively committed $270 million to reduce plastic waste.