Waterways and oceans represent jobs and food for billions of people around the world. Keeping our marine ecosystems healthy is not just good for the environment and addressing climate change, it is directly linked to alleviating poverty. The private sector plays a significant role in keeping marine ecosystems waste and pollution free while enabling industry to thrive and generating new investment opportunities.
IFC works with the private sector to encourage sustainable and efficient approaches to manufacturing and waste management while identifying solutions that increase energy efficiency, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and improve livelihoods. From producers to manufacturers and consumers, private sector players are required to help create a circular global economy as a sustainable and long-term solution.
IFC works to improve the connection between supply and demand to develop climate-smart waste management systems, create long-term markets for recycled content, and enable private sector investments. Additionally, the inclusion of the informal sector in investments and solutions is essential to ensure sustainability, development impact, and improve livelihoods.
To effectively reduce marine plastics, IFC works across the plastics value chain.
IFC is working with the private sector to enhance their production, conversion and manufacturing processes. Approaches include using alternative materials, improving traditional manufacturers’ processes for higher recycled content use, and improving packaging design innovation and products to be more durable and multi-use or easier to recycle.
In 2020 IFC’s first-ever blue loan to a global plastic resin manufacturer exclusively focused on mitigating marine plastic pollution. This landmark $300 million financing package to Indorama Ventures Limited (IVL) will help the company reach its goal of recycling 50 billion PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles a year by 2025. The funding will help the company increase its recycling capacity in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India, and Brazil—countries which are grappling with mismanaged waste and serious plastic contamination in the environment—and invest in renewable energy and resource efficiency projects.
In 2009, IFC invested US$33 million in a recycling facility that will convert used plastic bottles into food-grade, recycled resin that will be sold to the Mexican soft-drinks bottling industry. The success of the project relied on a stable domestic supply on one side, and the commitment from Coca-Cola as the main off-taker of the production on the other.
By mobilizing private sector finance, supporting financial institutions, and developing innovative products IFC is helping improve the quantity, quality, and supply of recycled plastics to meet growing demand and support circularity.
IFC works directly with private sector entities and municipalities to improve solid waste management and recycling approaches. In many instances, solid waste – particularly plastic waste – is mismanaged, meaning that it can “leak” into waterways, reaching oceans. Improved waste infrastructure and collection systems/services can ensure that more waste is captured at its source. When incorporated within a broader waste management strategy, these collection services can sort and process recyclable content that is desirable to a potential off taker. Ensuring adequate supply of recyclable content is essential to supporting global manufacturing entities seeking to meet their recyclable content goals.
IFC committed a US$60 million mezzanine investment in ALBA Asia Group, a pan-Asia waste management and recycling company. This is IFC’s first investment in the hazardous waste sector globally, aimed at enhancing environmentally sustainable waste management in the region.
Municipalities around the world have also engage with IFC to improve solid waste management processes, specifically collection of recyclable plastics, sorting, disposal, and energy recovery.
In Vietnam, IFC and the WB are actively advising governments to improve their understanding of the sources, pathways and economic impacts of land-based plastic pollution to develop their National Action Plan on the Management of Marine Plastic Litter; to support investments in solid waste management while paving the way for private sector solutions via value-chain diagnostics, public-private dialogue, and ultimately investments that will have an impact.
In Thailand, a joint engagement between IFC and WB is helping to deepen knowledge on the material flow and recycling markets to support the development of the National Action Plan for Marine Plastic Debris 2020-2027. This work also aims to increase awareness and strengthen coordination among and between private and public stakeholders to inform strategies.