Plastics and Sustainable Investments – an information brief for investors

Plastics are important for both industry and individuals – and should be for investors and financial actors. Responsible investors need to tackle those significant problems:

• A dependence on fossil raw materials and energy which contributes to climate change.

• Dysfunctional management of waste and recycling of plastics.

• Littering and pollution of terrestrial and aquatic environments.

This report addresses these problems and discusses emerging development pathways that have the potential to mitigate the negative effects. It also presents reasons for why the financial sector should look carefully at investments related to plastics.


Plastics is a group of versatile and useful materials. They are important for many industries as well as for everyday practices – and should thus be important also for investors and financial actors.

A transition to sustainable plastics will require investments in production, management, and recycling – and investments need to transition towards sustainable practices as argued by many international organisations and governments.

The challenge is to deal with several sustainability issues: the complete dependency on fossil resources and energy for production; low rates of recycling – also of material that is collected for recycling; unsustainable waste management which contributes to plastic pollution of terrestrial and aquatic environments. To this list could also be added health concerns related primarily to the use of different types of additives.

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