Your author is just back from a flying business trip to Tel Aviv. What could be more pleasant to end a full day of meetings than a walk along the beach? When there, he noticed the arresting image presented below. Beyond being an eye-catching construction, its purpose is clear: plastic waste is a source of both major concern and pollution.
We first addressed this theme in 2018 and it has remained top of mind since. The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the oceans globally every minute. As a result, there are 5tr pieces of plastic in our oceans – enough to circle the world over 400 times over whereas Europe recycles c32% of its plastic annually, the comparable figure for the US is less than 10%. Without radical change, the amount of plastic waste generated worldwide could double by 2040 (data per the World Economic Forum, European Environmental Agency and Pew Research).
Some solutions are at hand. A business such as SIG, which makes aseptic carton packaging, has long been an advocate of alternatives for products such as milk and juices. Some of their good work was discussed in an earlier Blog post this year. Raising awareness of the environmental impact of plastic pollution also matters. To this end, MOWI (one of the world's largest farmers of salmon) conducts over 400 community outreach events annually across the world. Many of these highlight how plastic in the sea causes harm, not just to the planet in general but to fish living there too.
At a much broader level, governments globally seem to be waking up to the importance of creating a more sustainable planet. While President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act has garnered much coverage for its plans to accelerate renewable energy deployments in the US, developments are taking place across the world. Your author spent some of his time on the plane back to London from Israel reading about cities of the future. In Saudi Arabia, The Line (proposed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of the broader Neom project) will be powered entirely renewable energy. Not to be out-done, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is billed as a “master-planned eco-complex.” Other projects of this nature are being contemplated in China, Japan and the US. Even if the intent behind some verges on hyperbole, they do still highlight a very positive direction of travel.
15 September 2022
The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Heptagon Capital is an investor in MOWI and SIG. The author of this piece has no personal direct investment in the business. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.
Photo taken by the author.
Alex Gunz, Fund Manager
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