It has been recently brought to our knowledge that only 20 companies are the biggest producer of plastic waste all over the world. According to new research, these 20 firms generate more than 50% of the existing single-use plastic waste across the planet. As a result, they are also largely responsible for creating environmental catastrophe and driving climate change.
Out of all the businesses worldwide, 55% of the entire world’s plastic waste comes from the packaging of both multinational and state-owned corporations. They also include the gas and oil giants and the chemical firms, as reported by the new comprehensive analysis.
The index of the Plastic Waste Makers has demonstrated for the very 1st time that the companies who generate the polymers also turn them into throwaway plastic trash. These polymer products included plastic bottles, bags, face masks, and others that have a short life. After being used for a short span of time, they end up polluting the water bodies or get burned or unsustainably discarded in the landfill.
This index has also revealed that Australia is the largest country to produce the biggest quantity of single-use plastic waste based on per capita. Australia is ahead of Britain, South Korea, and the United States.
20 Leading Plastic Waste Contributors
The biggest throwaway plastic waste producer in the world is ExxonMobil. They contribute a massive global waste of 5.9 million tonnes, according to the evaluation of the Minderoo Foundation from Australia. This foundation collaborated with Wood Mackenzie, Stockholm Institute of Environment, and London Economics School to conduct this analysis.
Dow, the largest company for chemicals across the planet, situated in the US, produces another huge amount of plastic waste estimated at 5.5 million tonnes. In addition, Sinopec, a Chinese gas and oil enterprise, creates 5.3 million tonnes.
11 of the firms based in Asia, 4 in Europe, 3 in North America, 1 in the Middle East, and 1 in Latin America are the other largest contributors of plastic waste. Their production of plastic is sponsored by the biggest banking organizations such as Barclays, HSBC, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America.
The enormous footprint of plastic waste from these 20 leading global firms is estimated to be over 50% of the 130 million metric tonnes of throwaway plastic waste in 2019.
Growing Plastic Pollution Concerns
Throwaway plastics are usually made from only fossil fuels that increase the climate crisis. Moreover, since they are extremely hard to break down, they eventually create a worldwide waste mountain. Only 10 to 15% of these dispensable plastics are recycled every year globally.
Furthermore, the analysis also gives an unparalleled view into the smaller petrochemicals firms along with their financial sponsors who also generate large amounts of plastic waste.
Al Gore, the ex-US vice-president, mentioned that this ground-breaking evaluation has uncovered the ways in which fossil fuel firms are rapidly trying to replace plastic production. Meanwhile, the 2 important markets including electricity generation and transport are getting carbonized. He further added that plastic waste leads particularly from unnecessary plastics that accumulate in landfills and oceans.
The production of plastic polymers is expected to increase by 30% in the next 5 years. The greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be 5 to 10% within 2050. The report also indicated that the plastic industry has been operating with limited transparency and minimal regulation for decades. Additionally, they rarely recycle or reuse the existing plastic.
Dr. Andrew Forrest, chairman of Minderoo Foundation, mentioned that plastic waste is the biggest concern for the world at present. The current pace seems grim but immediate and strict measures must be put in place to prevent plastic pollution.