Is this the decade when we solve ocean plastic — or repeat the mistakes of the past?
Recently, Nathaniel Rich told an incredible story about the decade when we could have stopped global warming. In the 1980s, "The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions — far closer than we’ve come since," he wrote. "During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favorable. The obstacles we blame for our current inaction had yet to emerge. Almost nothing stood in our way — nothing except ourselves."
From environmentalists and governments to consumer brands and plastic companies, we all agree on the science and the solutions.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine this kind of consensus today — in a world that every day feels more and more divided. Yet plastic waste and ocean pollution actually could be the issues that connect us.
From environmentalists and governments to consumer brands and plastic companies, we all agree on the science and the solutions:
We know where plastic is entering the environment: South and Southeast Asia.
We know why: mismanaged waste generated by exponentially growing economies.
We know what needs to be done: Build integrated waste and recycling infrastructure and supply chains.
We know how to do it: Implement key policies to enable the financing and implementation of proven business models.
If we follow through, not only will we stop ocean plastic, we also dramatically will improve the livelihoods of the people living in these communities — and our collective future.
I founded Circulate Capital to accelerate the engagement of the financial sector to enable and deploy billions of dollars to build the systems needed. But money can’t solve anything by itself — we need all stakeholders to play roles and drive solutions.