The Future’s Not in Plastics

“The petrochemical industry is already facing record-low plastic feedstock prices as a result of massive overcapacity. And yet, it plans to expand supply for virgin plastics use by a quarter at a cost of at least $400 billion in the next 5 years, risking huge losses for investors. The plastics industry is a bloated behemoth, ripe for disruption. … Meanwhile, 36% of plastic is used only once, 40% ends up polluting the environment and less than 10% is actually recycled.” – Carbon Tracker Initiative

As demand for oil declines, “the oil industry is pinning its hopes on strong plastics demand growth that will not materialise, as the world starts to tackle plastic waste and governments act to hit climate targets,” according to this new report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative. But instead of adjusting to the new reality, oil and petrochemical industry lobbyists continue to press for government action to continue to profit, despite the consequences of further global warming and environmental damage.

A new report from Greenpeace reveals that “a lobby group representing oil and chemical companies, including Shell, Exxon, Total, DuPont and Dow, has been pushing the Trump administration during the pandemic to use a US-Kenya trade deal to expand the plastic and chemical industry across Africa.”

Ironically, the industry’s strategic plan would make Kenya, a leader in banning plastic bags, into the African hub for plastic waste exported from industrialized countries. Read more…

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