Over half of world’s plastic waste produced by 20 companies - report

18 May 2021, 10:31

Eight million pieces of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans every day
Eight million pieces of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans every day. Picture: Getty

By Daisy Stephens

Twenty corporations are responsible for producing over half of the world’s single-use plastics, a report has shown.

The Plastic Waste Makers index looked at around 1,000 factories that manufacture single-use plastic products such as water bottles, food packaging and even face masks, and found that 55 percent of it was produced by just 20 companies.

ExxonMobile, Dow and Sinopec are the three biggest, and between them produce approximately sixteen percent of the world’s plastic.

The report also revealed that Australia produces the most single-use plastic per person with each person generating 59kg of single-use plastic in 2019.

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Single use plastics are a well-known contributor to ocean pollution.

Eight million pieces of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans every day.

Plastic manufacture is also a significant driver of global warming, as 90 per cent of it is made from raw materials obtained from fossil fuels.

The index comes just a day after Greenpeace released a report saying that UK plastic waste is being dumped in Turkey.

The report found that 40 percent of the UK’s plastic waste exports ended up in Turkey, where some of it was either dumped or burned.

Plastic waste from the UK was also exported to Malaysia and Poland.

“It’s shocking to know that that’s what happens to our recycling,” said Greenpeace political campaigner Sam Chetan-Welsh, speaking to LBC on Tuesday.

“We’re calling on the government to set legally-binding targets on retailers, on supermarkets, to cut the amount of single-use plastic in half by 2025.”