The Circulate Initiative has announced a new global edition of its Plastics Circularity Investment Tracker, which is claimed to be the first tool in the world to track the scale of private investments in the plastics circular economy.

This edition revealed that almost 90% of investments made since 2018 were disproportionately directed towards North America and Europe, even though the top 20 contributors to ocean plastic leakage are emerging economies.

The tracker evaluated more than 3,700 transactions spanning 91 countries from 2018 through the first half of this year.

Its findings showed that private capital inflows to the plastics circular economy totalled more than $160bn, averaging approximately $29bn annually.

This current level of investment falls well short of the annual $60bn said to be required for the ‘systems change scenario’ wherein plastic leakage into the ocean is reduced by approximately 80% by 2040.

Asia received 8% of the total reported investments in plastics circularity, amounting to $12bn while Central America and the Caribbean received less than $2bn in investments during the same period.

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Recorded investments in plastic circularity infrastructure in Africa were the lowest, accounting for roughly $150m or 0.09% of the total deal value during the review period.

Approximately 85% of the total investments were allocated to recovery and recycling initiatives while investments in reuse and refill accounted for less than 5% of the total.

Banks and corporate investments provided around 35% each of private capital while private equity accounted for 25% of the initiatives.

The second version of the Plastics Circularity Investment Tracker offers a broader scope than its predecessor, extending its data coverage from emerging markets to a global scale.

It includes a new feature that enables comparisons of investments across countries, throughout the value chain, and within various investment categories.

Circulate Initiative executive director Michael Sadowski said: “By identifying the solutions and regions receiving funding, as well as insights into investor and transaction landscapes, our goal is to enable decision-makers to better identify opportunities to scale solutions to unlock the full potential of a circular economy.”