Ocean Clean-Ups Can Be an ESG Opportunity For Insurers

A new report by international wildlife conservation charity, Fauna & Flora International (FFI)highlights the disastrous impact of plastic pellet pollution on marine wildlife and calls for a robust regulatory approach from industry, governments and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to put an end to plastic pellet loss at all stages of the supply chain.

Plastic pellets, or ‘nurdles’, are lentil-sized pieces of plastic that are melted together to create almost all plastic items used day-to-day. Pellets are a significant source of microplastic pollution; they spill on land and at sea in staggering numbers, especially while in transit, and it is estimated that billions of individual pellets enter the ocean every year. 

The new measures that FFI is calling for aim to hold all stakeholders handling plastic pellets – not just those adopting voluntarily measures – accountable for tackling plastic pellet pollution, hence making an important move towards minimising the plastic pollution risks that can potentially affect insurance providers.


Similar to climate change related risks, plastic pollution risks can affect insurance and investment portfolios in the form of physical, transition, liability and reputational risks. The insurance industry can play a role in minimising the plastic pollution issue by putting pressure on companies to provide verification of supply chain pellet loss prevention measures as a prerequisite for insurance.

FFI’s new report, titled ‘Stemming the tide: putting an end to plastic pellet pollution’, deep dives into plastic pellets’ impact on the environment and biodiversity, explores the points at which pellets are lost on land and at sea, and analyses the limitations of existing preventative action. The report crucially highlights that plastic pellet pollution is preventable and concludes with a series of evidence-based recommendations for immediate measures and regulations that can be put in place to curb the issue.

Tanya Cox, Senior Technical Specialist, Marine Plastics, FFI, explains: “There is a growing body of evidence documenting the sheer scale of plastic pellet pollution, the harm it causes to marine life and its impacts on ecosystems and human livelihoods. But, attempts to prevent pellet loss and minimise its impact have, to-date, been limited, despite the issue being entirely preventable.

To access FFI’s report, ‘Stemming the tide: putting an end to plastic pellet pollution’, and the full list of recommendations, please download the pdf here.

About alastair walker 12131 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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