April 9, 2019

World Bank Sustainable Development Bond Addresses Plastics in Oceans

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

The World Bank launched a sustainable development bond to raise awareness on plastic waste pollution in the world’s oceans. All World Bank bonds contribute to the financing of programmes that support the SDGs and aim to raise awareness of the role of the private sector in financing sustainable development.

According to a World Bank press release, eight million tons of plastics are dumped in the ocean annually, the equivalent of approximately one truck of garbage per minute. The environmental and financial impact of this plastic pollution is significant. Marine ecosystems experience an estimated USD 13 billion in damages from plastic waste that impacts the fishing sector, health and food chains, and the shipping and tourism sectors.

The bond is part of the World Bank’s ongoing efforts to engage with investors to highlight the critical role of fresh and saltwater resources and the importance of supporting sustainable use of ocean and marine resources, including through better waste management. The World Bank targets the callable step-up fixed rate bond to both individual and institutional investors. Morgan Stanley was the sole distributor of the bond, which raised USD 10,000,000. Morgan Stanley’s Head of Sovereign, Supranational and Agency Origination, Navindu Katugampola, said the bond will provide its customers with a “tangible opportunity” to partner with the World Bank to “highlight issues such as the challenge of plastic waste in oceans.”

The World Bank launched the thematic bond initiative in August 2018. Since then, investors have supported the strategic focus on SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 14 (life below water). This bond brings issuances under the theme to over USD 990 million raised through 19 bonds issues in nine currencies.