Ninety-nine per cent of plastics are produced from fossil fuels. As Canada and other advanced economies reach for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the emissions trajectory of petrochemical plastic producers needs a drastic course change.
With rising plastic pollution globally, this must be complemented by a transition to a circular plastics economy. A circular plastics economy is a regenerative economy. It harnesses natural resources sustainably and eliminates waste by design. It reuses and recycles its outputs and adopts innovative business models with minimal environmental and social drawbacks.
This impact paper explains how performance-based sustainable finance offers petrochemical plastic producers advantages in a transition to a circular plastics economy, and alignment with Canada’s net-zero goals. The paper proposes performance metrics for plastic producers seeking sustainable finance.
The paper also demonstrates that government investment incentives linked to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, can accelerate the transition of plastic producers, while enhancing economic competitiveness. The paper recommends three actions for Canadian governments to build investment incentives for plastic producers that include circular economy and ESG performance metrics.