Twenty companies are responsible for producing more than half of all the single-use plastic waste in the world, fuelling the climate crisis and creating an environmental catastrophe, new research reveals.
Among the global businesses responsible for 55% of the world’s plastic packaging waste are both state-owned and multinational corporations, including oil and gas giants and chemical companies, according to a comprehensive new analysis.
The Plastic Waste Makers index reveals for the first time the companies who produce the polymers that become throwaway plastic items, from face masks to plastic bags and bottles, which at the end of their short life pollute the oceans or are burned or thrown into landfill.
ExxonMobil is the greatest single-use plastic waste polluter in the world, contributing 5.9m tonnes to the global waste mountain, concludes the analysis by the Minderoo Foundation of Australia with partners including Wood Mackenzie, the London School of Economics and Stockholm Environment Institute. The largest chemicals company in the world, Dow, which is based in the US, created 5.5m tonnes of plastic waste, while China’s oil and gas enterprise, Sinopec, created 5.3m tonnes.
The analysis provides an unprecedented glimpse into the small number of petrochemicals companies, and their financial backers, which generate almost all single-use plastic waste across the world.