Economy

This Organization Ranks No. 1 Investing in Plastic Waste

The oceans around the world have begun to fill up with plastic. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, at least 8 million tons of plastic are added to these oceans each year. National Geographic points out, “That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.”

However, the oceans are not the only victim. Plastic also has become a major problem in landfills.

Proponents of plastics can rightly point to the many plastic products that have become positive contributors to modern life. They have made medical devices safer and cheaper to produce, for example. A modern vehicle is lighter and more fuel efficient because plastics have replaced heavier metal components. And you are likely very close to plastics right now, whether they are in the mobile device you are holding or the refrigerator in your kitchen.

Plastics is a massive global industry, and when investors and analysts see predictions of 30% growth in plastics production in the near future, they see dollar signs. Money made from plastics is everywhere, from the oil and gas companies that provide the raw materials to the extruders that mold these polymers into bags, boxes and bottles to the companies big and small that use the packaging to sell their wares to and make them more convenient for carefree consumers.

To identify not the producers of the most single-use plastic products but the individuals, corporations and national governments most invested in the production of the plastics from which these products are made, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data in the Plastic Waste Makers Index, published this year by the Minderoo Foundation, an Australia-based philanthropy. From the same source comes information for this list of the companies that actually produce the most plastic waste around the world.

The organization that invests the most in plastic is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Twenty-three companies there are invested in plastic production, and the country’s value share of single-use plastic production is 3,100%.

Click here to see the 50 investors bankrolling the plastic waste crisis.