The Growing Threat of Plastic Pollution and the Need for Sustainable Financial Disclosure

Alfred Tang

Hatched by Alfred Tang

Feb 25, 2024

3 min read


The Growing Threat of Plastic Pollution and the Need for Sustainable Financial Disclosure


Plastic pollution has become an increasingly pressing global issue, with its detrimental impact on the environment and human health. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warns that plastic waste management and recycling efforts are falling short, leading to the relentless growth of pollution. Additionally, the ISSB-2023-A report emphasizes the importance of incorporating sustainability-related financial information into corporate disclosures. By examining the common points between these two sources, we can gain a deeper understanding of the urgent need for sustainable practices and financial transparency.

The Alarming State of Plastic Pollution:

According to the OECD, a mere 9% of plastic waste is being recycled, leaving the majority to accumulate in landfills or leak into aquatic environments. Shockingly, 6.1 million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into our waterways, while 1.7 million tonnes flow into the oceans each year. These staggering figures highlight the urgent need for more effective waste management and recycling systems.

The Role of Sustainable Financial Disclosure:

The ISSB-2023-A report underscores the significance of incorporating sustainability-related financial information into corporate disclosures. It emphasizes the core content responsibilities, skills, and competencies required to address sustainability-related risks and opportunities. Companies must ensure that they are informed about these risks and opportunities, setting targets, and managing them effectively. Moreover, sustainability-related factors should be integrated into the entity's business model, value chain, strategy, and decision-making processes. These factors can significantly impact financial performance, resilience, and ultimately influence decision-making.

Connecting the Dots:

The connection between plastic pollution and the need for sustainable financial disclosure lies in their common goal of achieving environmental and social responsibility. Plastic pollution poses a severe threat to ecosystems, marine life, and human health, while unsustainable financial practices exacerbate these problems. By linking the two, we can create a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of pollution and promotes sustainable business practices.

Unique Insights:

While both sources shed light on the gravity of plastic pollution and the importance of sustainable financial disclosure, it is crucial to highlight some unique insights. One noteworthy point is the potential for financial incentives to drive change in plastic waste management. By implementing policies that reward companies for investing in sustainable practices and recycling technologies, we can encourage greater participation and innovation in waste reduction efforts. Additionally, the integration of sustainability-related factors into financial disclosures can provide investors with a more comprehensive view of a company's long-term viability and performance, promoting investments in sustainable businesses.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Improve waste management and recycling systems: Governments and businesses should invest in infrastructure and technologies to enhance waste management and recycling capabilities. This includes developing efficient recycling processes and promoting the use of sustainable materials.
  • 2. Implement financial incentives for sustainable practices: Governments can introduce tax breaks or subsidies to encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices. Financial rewards can incentivize businesses to invest in recycling technologies and reduce their plastic footprint.
  • 3. Enhance corporate transparency and disclosure: Companies should actively incorporate sustainability-related factors into their financial disclosures. By providing investors with comprehensive information on environmental and social risks, businesses can attract sustainable investments and drive positive change.


The alarming growth of plastic pollution calls for urgent action. By recognizing the connection between plastic waste management and sustainable financial disclosure, we can develop holistic strategies to combat pollution and promote environmental responsibility. Improving waste management systems, implementing financial incentives, and enhancing corporate transparency are actionable steps that governments, businesses, and individuals can take to create a sustainable future. It is imperative that we address this pressing issue collectively and strive for a world free from the detrimental effects of plastic pollution.

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