The world faces a looming challenge of handling our waste, an increasing percentage of which is made of plastic, which simply does not go away. Plastic usually accounts for up to 20 percent of a municipality’s waste generation by weight, but by volume, the proportion is significantly higher. Most small communities do not have access to solutions, and this is where “catalytic philanthropy,” particularly in the resource recovery sector, can make an enormous impact on peoples’ lives on a global basis.
Catalytic philanthropy refers to an approach in which donors take a structured, active role in addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges. According to one well-known philanthropist, it “has the high-stakes feel of the private market, but can transcend the key market limitations above: The investor doesn’t need a share of the benefits.”