The top five companies behind disposable plastics (often shopping bags, straws, and food packaging materials that end up in landfills and cluttered beaches) are four-quarters of the world’s total, supported by demand from the United States. It occupies nearly one. China.
According to a study by the charity Minderoo Foundation, oil major ExxonMobil, chemical group Dow, and Chinese oil refiner Sinopec produced 110 million tons of polymers, or disposable plastic components, in 2019. At the top of the company list.
Chemical company Indorama Ventures and oil company Saudi Aramco were the fourth and fifth largest producers, respectively.
The top five companies generated a total of approximately 26 million tonnes of plastic waste, according to a report based on research by the United Nations, the World Bank, national customs data, and consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Nearly half of that, or 11 million tonnes, was used in the United States and China.
Plastic waste is “a big problem … By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean, heavier than fish,” said Thunder Defluite, who heads the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative. Stated.
The root cause was our “disposable society”. Each country needs to move from a system based on resource extraction to a system based on resource circulation.
Plastics are made from fossil fuel-based chemicals that do not break down like food, but break down into smaller and smaller pieces when discarded. Disposable plastic products are often recyclable, but many are not, and millions of tonnes of plastic waste flow into the ocean each year.
As plastic-studded beach images became a familiar sight, the government began cracking down on materials with plastic bans or taxes.
Last year, the UK banned disposable plastic straws, stirrs and cotton swabs and raised prices for plastic bags. China plans to outlaw disposable bags and cutlery in major cities and extend the plastic ban until 2025.
To seduce eco-friendly shoppers, consumer brands such as coffee chain Starbucks and fast-food retailer McDonald’s have begun to replace disposable plastic products with paper alternatives. In April, grocery store Morrisons announced that it would be the first British supermarket to completely remove plastic bags from stores.
Dow said in its 2020 annual report that plastics are facing “increasing public surveillance.”
“Local governments, state governments, federal governments, and foreign governments are increasingly proposing and, in some cases, approving bans on certain plastic-based products, including disposable plastics,” which could impact demand. Said there is.
Nevertheless, producers expect global demand for plastics to increase due to population growth and the expansion of the middle class. The pandemic has also encouraged increased use of disposable items, which have been regarded as a way to minimize viral infections.
Exxon states in its 2020 annual report that global…
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