The Strategist

55% of the world's plastic waste is produced by 20 companies

05/19/2021 - 03:47

More than half of the world's single-use plastic waste is produced by just 20 large companies. ExxonMobil produces the most single-use plastic waste - 5.9 million metric tonnes (in 2019).
That's the data in a report by the Minderoo Foundation, an Australian charity dedicated to global research, including environmental issues.

The Minderoo Foundation's ranking of Plastic Waste Makers includes 100 companies that produce 90% of all plastic waste. Globally, the report estimates that more than 130 million tonnes of plastic waste is incinerated, buried or dumped in oceans, forests, etc. every year. 

The top 10 polluters, along with ExxonMobil, also include Dow (5.6 million tonnes of single-use plastic waste), Sinopec (5.3 million tonnes), Indorama Ventures (4, 6 million tonnes), Saudi Aramco (4.3 million tonnes), PetroChina (4 million tonnes), LyondellBasell (3.9 million tonnes), Reliance Industries (3.1 million tonnes), Braskem (3 million tonnes) and Alpek SA de CV (2.3 million tonnes). Most of the companies included in the ranking are located in Asia, with more than half of the top 20. 

The Minderoo Foundation notes that these companies receive funding from the world's leading banks, thus indirectly contributing to the plastic pollution of the planet. Barclays Bank was named by the experts as the largest financier of pollution. Barclays provided loans totaling $3.1 billion to a number of companies included in the ranking. 

The top 5 banks also included HSBC ($2.9 billion), Bank of America ($2.9 billion), Citigroup ($2.8 billion) and JPMorgan Chase ($2.7 billion). In addition, 20 institutional asset managers hold stakes in polluting companies totalling over $300bn.