10 ESG Investments for 2021 - Part 8

‘Multi-use’ plastics

Andrew Willis 7 May, 2021 | 4:28AM
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Andrew Willis: It’s time for Morningstar Sustainalytics’ “10 for 2021” – which presents investors with 10 ESG investment themes that can positively contribute to advancing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This week we’re talking about recycling… We do a decent job as consumers sorting our plastics and reducing the amount of food packaging we use, but there’s still a lot of work to do… to prevent food wrappers from landing in our shopping cart in the first place.

Commercial interests still use single-use wrappers on an abundance of food items. But soon they may be finding themselves scrambling for more sustainable options as regulators continue to clamp down on plastic packaging.

Starting this year, the EU will ban single-use plastics for which alternatives are available. And in the U.K, starting next year, there will a tax on plastic packaging that uses less than 30% recycled materials – helping to eliminate any financial incentives or switching costs that might have delayed going green.

Governments around the world are also tackling the issue from the product disposal side of the equation, with the new EU Landfill Directive, for example, looking to restrict how much waste municipalities are willing to accept. And now the ball is rolling in China as mandatory garbage sorting is introduced in a growing number of cities.

Amidst all the rules closing in on food manufacturers, we also have peer pressure from supermarkets. Tesco (TSCO), went ahead and eliminated plastic meal trays, yogurt lids and straws. And such high-profile moves at the point of sale will probably influence purchasing behaviour…  

For Morningstar, I’m Andrew Willis.

 

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Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis  is Content Editor for Morningstar.ca. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWillisCDN.

 

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