There are efforts underway to clean up the overwhelming amount of plastic that currently pollutes oceans. There are even more efforts to reduce the amount of plastic flowing into them. All of this work is being done to ensure the health and vitality of our planet and thus, ourselves.
One more effort has begun. But this endeavor does not involve recycling sorting, floating plastic collectors, filters deployed at the mouths of rivers, or chemical processes. It involves money.
Reporting for Bloomberg, Dan Murtaugh and David Ramli recently focused on Rob Kaplan, a former executive for Walmart Inc. in an article titled, “A Fund Manager is Using Big Plastic’s Money to Stop Ocean Trash.” Kaplan has raised $106 million from some of the world’s biggest makers of plastic and plans to invest that money in companies that will promise to prevent trash from getting into the oceans.
The article says, “Targets include waste and chemicals recycling firms, and Kaplan hopes the private equity-style investments will one day yield double-digit returns—the sort that could entice heavyweight institutional investors and pension funds to plow in money of their own.
‘The impact we need to create takes many billions of dollars, not just the $100 million we’ve been able to raise,’ Kaplan said in an interview in Singapore, where his Circulate Capital fund is based. ‘The only way we’re going to be able to do that is if we can prove an investment strategy that’s successful from a returns perspective.’”
Companies such as Dow, Chevron Phillips Chemical, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble are the companies investing in the Circulate Capital fund.
Kaplan approaches investors by telling them they can donate $100 million dollars for meager results, or they can be a part of making the case that investing in solutions is a huge money-maker. Circulate Capital has aspirations of making a few dozen investments of $2 million to $10 million each with initial goals of mid-single-digit returns. The early focus will be on India and Indonesia.
Make money and save the planet? Who has a few million dollars I can borrow?