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Twenty Companies Responsible For 55% Of All Plastic Waste

Daniel Richardson

| Last updated 

Twenty Companies Responsible For 55% Of All Plastic WastePA Images

Research has found that 20 companies are responsible for more than half of the plastic waste affecting the environment.

Plastic is a huge issue in terms of its environmental impact. This is because it doesn’t biodegrade and can damage animals directly or through pollution. A new study has outlined the dangers the use of the materials presents and also notes who is responsible for the problem.


The Plastic Waste Makers index has shed light on how plastics are impacting the world as well as what can be done by some of the most powerful companies in the world to solve the issue.

Plastic waste in ocean (PA Images)PA Images

The research found oil and gas company ExxonMobil and the chemical company Dow are largely responsible for plastic waste. In fact, 20 polymer producers have produced 55% of all plastic waste in 2019. Along with ExxonMobil and Dow, companies such as Sinopec, Indorama Ventures, Saudi Aramco, PetroChina and LyondellBasell also made up the list. In total, 100 companies produce 90% of all single-use plastic waste, the Minderoo Foundation found.

The study also looked into the banks that are financing this pollution. It turns out that many banks are involved in funding the environmental damage, but Barclays and HSBC are the biggest supporters as they are giving 3.1 billion of financial support each to the polluters.


The study goes on to call for action from policymakers to limit production and for producers to clearly communicate how much they reuse and pollute. It also asks banks to be transparent about how much they invest in polluters.

Dump site (PA Images)PA Images

The report went on to note:

An environmental catastrophe beckons: much of the resulting single-use plastic waste will end up as pollution in developing countries with poor waste management systems. The projected rate of growth in the supply of these virgin polymers… will likely keep new, circular models of production and reuse ‘out of the money’ without regulatory stimulus.


Given this impending catastrophe, many will hope that the advice the report provides is heeded. Particularly as projections for the impact of plastic are getting more severe, in what the study claims are an ‘industry failure to transition away from fossil-fuel-based feedstocks.’

The report comes amid fears that the use of single-use plastics could grow by more than 30% in the next five years after use of such plastics continues to increase. This could also lead to 5-10% of greenhouse emissions being caused by the material by 2050.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, Now, Plastic, Pollution


Plastic Waste Index and 1 other
  1. Plastic Waste Index


  2. The Guardian

    Twenty firms produce 55% of world’s plastic waste, report reveals

Daniel Richardson
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