USAID Announces Private-Sector Partnership to Combat Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

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For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:

Today at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with impact-investment firm Circulate Capital, made substantial commitments to attract private capital and the development of new businesses in South and Southeast Asia. USAID announced a $35 million, 50-percent loan-portfolio guarantee with Circulate Capital that will help mobilize outside private investment to combat plastic pollution in oceans throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

The partial-loan guarantee from USAID is a tool designed to attract private capital to a blended-finance fund and offer protection to investors by lowering the downside risk of loss, which makes investment in developing markets more appealing. The initiative already has secured more than $100 million in private-sector commitments from the world's leading businesses.

Circulate Capital will invest the portfolio in companies, innovations, and infrastructure projects that will strengthen recycling and waste management systems - central to reducing and mitigating the effects of marine debris in oceans. The assistance will also create new business opportunities, incubate marketplaces, and empower women entrepreneurs in the environmental field.

This partnership builds on the successes of USAID's Municipal Waste Recycling Program because the fund will deploy at least 50 percent of the total investments in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, which are among the largest sources of plastic pollution in the sea. USAID continues to work with local partners in these countries to help stop the flow of mismanaged waste from entering the ocean while improving recycling and the proper collection and disposal of solid waste.