Index evaluates companies’ plastic waste impact

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On March 22, the United Nations celebrates the 30th World Water Day, a day intended to focus on accelerating solutions to the water and sanitation crisis. Plastic pollution plays a significant role in the crisis: 8 to 10 million metric tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans annually, which impacts environmental health and marine life. A new report is helping shareholders pushing companies to abandon virgin fossil fuel sources to reduce plastic waste.

The Minderoo Foundation’s 2023 Plastic Waste Makers Index benchmarks 50 global petrochemical companies on their efforts to advance plastic circularity, their GHG emissions from plastics production, and their single-use plastic waste footprint. The report identifies several key findings:


  • In 2021, 139 million tons of single-use plastic waste was created – the most ever – and almost entirely from “virgin” fossil fuel feedstocks.
  • Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from single-use plastics in 2021 were equivalent to total emissions of the United Kingdom.
  • From 2019-2021, single-use plastics made from virgin polymers were produced 15 times more than recycled plastics. 
  • Two petrochemical companies are producing recycled plastic at a rate to meet demand, and eight other companies have set ambitious 2030 recycled polymer targets.


Mercy Investment Services and its partners use this index and other resources to help inform engagements with the petrochemical sector on the urgent need to transition away from virgin fossil fuel feedstocks and to develop circular solutions that protect human and environmental health.




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