Morgan Stanley Launches Broad-Based Commitment to Develop Systemic Solutions to Reduce Global Plastic Waste

  • The Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution will drive and scale the
    investments, partnerships, programs and research needed to tackle the
    growing challenge of plastic waste.
  • Through these efforts, Morgan Stanley will prevent, reduce, and remove
    50 million metric tons of plastic waste from rivers, oceans,
    landscapes and landfills by 2030.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing (the
Institute) announced the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution to
develop and scale systemic solutions to tackle the global challenge of
growing amounts of plastic waste.

Since plastic came into widespread use just over 50 years ago, it has
become an ubiquitous part of the modern economy and everyday life, due
to its versatility, portability, flexibility and resulting convenience.
However, the ensuing rapid accumulation of plastic waste poses
significant challenges. More than 75 percent of the amount of plastic
manufactured each year is thrown away, the vast majority of it ending up
in rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills where it slowly
disintegrates, often eventually entering the food chain and water supply.1

Addressing this problem in a meaningful way requires strategic thinking
and investments across the full value chain of how plastics are
engineered, manufactured, used, reused, recycled and ultimately disposed
of. The Plastic Waste Resolution is designed to engage all relevant
stakeholders to collaborate in designing, innovating, financing and
deploying effective, scalable solutions, so as to retain the beneficial
qualities of plastic while reducing the negative effects of plastic

“At Morgan Stanley, we are committed to leveraging our best thinking;
our broad capital markets reach; our relationships with innovators,
entrepreneurs, corporations and governments; and our ongoing commitment
to our communities to address this daunting challenge at a systemic
level,” said Tom Nides, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley.

The Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution represents a thematic focus
by the Institute to catalyze, support and help scale the innovations and
business-based solutions to reduce plastic waste. By 2030, these efforts
will help prevent, reduce and remove at least 50 million metric tons of
plastic waste entering our rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills.

The Plastic Waste Resolution’s first major commitments include:

  • Morgan Stanley Global Capital Markets will underwrite bonds to reduce
    plastic waste, such as the recently launched bond for Sustainable
    Development with the World Bank. The bond highlights to investors the
    critical work being done by the World Bank to reduce plastic waste in
    oceans, and to support the sustainable use of marine resources in
    developing countries.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Equities Division will explore the
    creation of structured and other products that aim to consider and
    help address the plastic waste challenge.
  • Morgan Stanley Investment Management will seek to develop products
    which consider the risks and opportunities from plastic waste, across
    both public and private market funds.
  • Morgan Stanley Public Finance will work with municipalities, public
    agencies, universities, hospital systems and other public and
    not-for-profit entities to finance improvements to collection,
    recycling and disposal systems for plastic waste.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management will offer a suite of low minimum
    portfolio strategies across the risk spectrum that seek to positively
    influence the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on ocean
  • Morgan Stanley Research continues to invest in Sustainability Research
    and will pursue cutting-edge analysis of the plastics economy, the
    investment opportunities associated with plastic waste reduction, and
    plastic waste as a material sustainability issue.
  • The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing will focus
    thought leadership efforts on how investors can consider plastic waste
    reduction and the new plastics economy into their strategies. Today,
    the Institute is releasing a white paper on the intersection of
    plastic-waste reduction and finance.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, which supports early
    stage technology and technology-enabled startups led by women and
    multicultural entrepreneurs, will include a call for proposals in next
    year’s cohort for innovations focused on plastic waste reduction.
  • Morgan Stanley will partner with the University of Michigan’s School
    for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) to establish the Plastic
    Waste Reduction Fellowship for graduate students at the University of
    Michigan that explores systemic approaches and solutions that can
    reduce plastic waste, in particular, ways the capital markets and
    investment opportunities can accelerate and scale those solutions. The
    research will help identify the constraints and opportunities
    associated with the technology, policy and market drivers that
    influence plastics flows in the global economy.
  • The Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, that each
    year calls on next-generation innovators to develop their best ideas
    for scalable, sustainable investing strategies, will add a new award
    in 2020 for an innovative investment approach that aims to address
    plastic waste reduction.
  • In its own operations, Morgan Stanley is removing all single-use

Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for
Sustainable Investing, added, “Over the last decade, Morgan Stanley and
the Institute for Sustainable Investing have focused on harnessing the
power of the capital markets to protect the environment and strengthen
communities as an integral part of how we do business. The Plastic Waste
Resolution continues that commitment by supporting research and thought
leadership to enable us to better understand the challenges around
plastic waste and the potential solutions; creating sustainable
investing strategies to direct capital toward new solutions as they
evolve; and encouraging capacity building of the entrepreneurs,
innovators and future leaders of finance to help address this issue at a
systemic level.”

Clare Woodman, Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley’s operations
across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, noted, “We’ve seen a
groundswell of interest and action from consumers, corporates and policy
makers here in the UK and across Europe and the Middle East. This global
commitment is an important signal to our clients and stakeholders that
we are here to help them meet their plastic waste goals.”

Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres, said “This represents a bold move by
Morgan Stanley to focus on a pressing global issue where innovation and
creativity in the capital markets can play an important role to bring
systemic solutions to scale.”

Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability
(SEAS) at the University of Michigan, said, “We are excited to partner
with Morgan Stanley to further cutting-edge scholarship to understand
not only how plastic flows through our economy, but what innovations,
policy changes and business model developments can be the most effective
levers in harnessing the benefits of plastic while reducing the negative
impacts of plastic waste. This research will help inform the field to
make smarter investments that matter and have real, lasting impact.”

Learn more about the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution at

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm
providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and
investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries,
the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations,
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1 Geyer, Roland, Jenna R. Jambeck, and Kara Lavender Law.
“Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made.” Science advances
3.7 (2017): e1700782


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