Submitted by Morgan Stanley
Today, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing (the Institute) announced the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution to develop and scale systemic solutions to tackle the global challenge of growing amounts of plastic waste.
Since plastic came into widespread use just over 50 years ago, it has become an ubiquitous part of the modern economy and everyday life, due to its versatility, portability, flexibility and resulting convenience. However, the ensuing rapid accumulation of plastic waste poses significant challenges. More than 75 percent of the amount of plastic manufactured each year is thrown away, the vast majority of it ending up in rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills where it slowly disintegrates, often eventually entering the food chain and water supply.1
Addressing this problem in a meaningful way requires strategic thinking and investments across the full value chain of how plastics are engineered, manufactured, used, reused, recycled and ultimately disposed of. The Plastic Waste Resolution is designed to engage all relevant stakeholders to collaborate in designing, innovating, financing and deploying effective, scalable solutions, so as to retain the beneficial qualities of plastic while reducing the negative effects of plastic waste.
“At Morgan Stanley, we are committed to leveraging our best thinking; our broad capital markets reach; our relationships with innovators, entrepreneurs, corporations and governments; and our ongoing commitment to our communities to address this daunting challenge at a systemic level,” said Tom Nides, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley.
The Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution represents a thematic focus by the Institute to catalyze, support and help scale the innovations and business-based solutions to reduce plastic waste. By 2030, these efforts will help prevent, reduce and remove at least 50 million metric tons of plastic waste entering our rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills.
The Plastic Waste Resolution’s first major commitments include:
Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing, added, “Over the last decade, Morgan Stanley and the Institute for Sustainable Investing have focused on harnessing the power of the capital markets to protect the environment and strengthen communities as an integral part of how we do business. The Plastic Waste Resolution continues that commitment by supporting research and thought leadership to enable us to better understand the challenges around plastic waste and the potential solutions; creating sustainable investing strategies to direct capital toward new solutions as they evolve; and encouraging capacity building of the entrepreneurs, innovators and future leaders of finance to help address this issue at a systemic level.”
Clare Woodman, Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley’s operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, noted, “We’ve seen a groundswell of interest and action from consumers, corporates and policy makers here in the UK and across Europe and the Middle East. This global commitment is an important signal to our clients and stakeholders that we are here to help them meet their plastic waste goals.”
Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, said “This represents a bold move by Morgan Stanley to focus on a pressing global issue where innovation and creativity in the capital markets can play an important role to bring systemic solutions to scale.”
Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan, said, “We are excited to partner with Morgan Stanley to further cutting-edge scholarship to understand not only how plastic flows through our economy, but what innovations, policy changes and business model developments can be the most effective levers in harnessing the benefits of plastic while reducing the negative impacts of plastic waste. This research will help inform the field to make smarter investments that matter and have real, lasting impact.”
Learn more about the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution at www.morganstanley.com/plasticwasteresolution.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.
 Geyer, Roland, Jenna R. Jambeck, and Kara Lavender Law. "Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made." Science advances 3.7 (2017): e1700782
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Katherine Stueber, 212-761-1349
Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm and a market leader in investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. With more than 1,200 offices in 42 countries, the people of Morgan Stanley are dedicated to providing our clients the finest thinking, products and services to help them achieve even the most challenging goals. Through its Global Sustainable Finance Group, Morgan Stanley seeks to support community development initiatives with debt, equity, and philanthropy.
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