The companies behind a self created alliance to end plastic waste (including Chevron, Dow Chemical, Exxon, Mitsubishi, Procter & Gamble, Shell, SABIC and Total) are amongst the world’s biggest investors in new plastic productions plants. It seems to be thinly veiled attempt to acknowledge plastics – and greenwash their companies away.
The Guardian and NGO Recycling Netwerk investigated Shell building a multibillion-dollar plant in Pennsylvania (US), using shale gas as its fuel to produce 1.6m tonnes of polyethylene (the most common plastic).
ExxonMobil is building a new plastics production line at its plant in Texas, to increase production to more than 2.5m tonnes a year. It will be one of the largest plastic production units in the world.
Saudi Arabia’s state oil company and the country’s chemical giant SABIC are building one of the world’s largest oil-to-petrochemicals factories.
Many of the production plants are linked to fracking. Fossil fuel companies have invested more than $180bn since 2010 in new “cracking” facilities that will produce the raw material for everyday plastics for use in packaging, bottles, trays and cartons, helping to fuel a 40% rise in plastic production over the next decade.
Though they may be putting on a face to pretend they care about plastic production, these companies have proven time and time again they don’t. Let’s not fall for the hype and demand better laws, innovations and regulations instead.
Source: The Guardian