Recycling works, and investors are waking up to its potential in high-growth Asian markets

March 17, 2023

This week, our non-profit partner The Circulate Initiative launched the world’s first tool to track the scale of investment into plastic circularity in emerging markets. This is a huge milestone for our industry; as access to data on plastic circularity deals grows, so too will confidence about investing in the sector.

And the data behind this tool is revealing:

  • From 2018 to 2022, 88% of private investments were allocated to downstream solutions such as recycling and recovery.
  • All of the top 10 deals in plastics circularity involved waste management or recycling companies, indicating a change of perception of the recycling industry. Investors are now recognizing the opportunity related to this well established and tested business model.
  • Asia is leading the charge in this trend, with 87% of cumulative investments since 2018 going towards Asian-based companies.

Of course, reducing the amount of plastic produced and disposed of requires a systemic shift. So beyond recycling, we must continue in parallel to drive capital towards more disruptive upstream solutions such as innovative materials and advanced recycling technologies.

As we celebrate Global Recycling Day, let’s recognize the significant progress we’ve made in the recycling industry and the potential for even more growth and innovation in the future. The tailwinds behind the circular economy are blowing stronger than ever, and investors who recognize the opportunities presented by recycling are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend.

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