Just 20 firms behind half of world’s single-use plastic waste
May 18, 2021 - Just 20 companies are responsible for producing more than half of all the single-use plastic items thrown away around the world, according to a new report looking at the global business of plastic production.
The research – carried out by a consortium including the London School of Economics – names 20 petrochemical companies which it says are the source of 55 percent of the world’s single-use plastic waste. The companies include ExxonMobil, Dow and Sinopec.
According to the study, more than 130 million tonnes of single-use plastic was thrown away in 2019, almost all of it burned, buried in landfill or discarded directly into the environment.
Single-use plastics are most likely to end up in our ocean, where they account for almost all visible pollution. Once there, they eventually break down into tiny particles that impact wildlife health – and the ocean’s ability to store carbon, the report said.