Five factories produce a quarter of all single-use plastics

The top five single-use plastics manufacturers accounted for nearly a quarter of total production in 2019 United States (USA) On China They are head and shoulders above the rest of the world. This is shown by research conducted by the Australian Mindero Foundation and press reports financial times.

Driven by demand in the United States and China, the five companies produced 26 million tons of plastic. According to the Minderoo report, single-use plastics make up more than a third of all plastics produced each year.

These plastics include shopping bags, straws and food packaging. They often end up in landfills or beaches. They end up in the oceans if they are not recycled.

110 million tons

The report is based on data from the United Nations, the World Bank, national customs data, and research by consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Nearly half of that, or 11 million tons, was used in the United States and China.

Oil group ExxonMobil, chemical giant Dow and Chinese oil refiner Sinopec topped the list of nearly 300 companies that together produced about 110 million tons of polymers, the building blocks of single-use plastics, in 2019, according to research by Minderoo.

In a statement, ExxonMobil said it “shares with the community its concerns about plastic waste and agrees that it must be addressed.” “Approximately 3 billion people in the world do not have access to proper waste collection or disposal systems.”

Exxon declined to comment further financial times, when asked if the company has goals to produce a greater proportion of plastic from recycled materials. Exxon is said to be “working on advanced recycling solutions”.

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From big to small

“Plastic waste is a huge problem…if we continue like this, we will have more plastic in our ocean than fish by 2050,” said Sander Defroyt, who leads the New Plastics Economy Initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. financial times.

While disposable plastics can be recycled, that often doesn’t happen, and millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean each year.

Demand for single-use plastics, in order from largest to smallest: China, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and South Korea.

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Megan Vasquez

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