European NGO Recycling Netwerk has revealed that many of the founder members of the self styled Alliance to End Plastic Waste are actually investing billions of dollars in the production of more plastic. This comes across as a classic example of not practicing what one preaches.
Shell and ExxonMobil are two of the signatories, both of which are building new factories to produce even more plastic. Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco and the country’s chemical giant SABIC – another member of the alliance – are building one of the world’s largest oil-to-petrochemicals factories.
Rob Buurman, the director of the NGO Recycling Netwerk, says: “It is interesting to see [the plastics industry] finally acknowledge that there is a problem with their plastics. But unfortunately, this initiative does not tackle the problem at its source: the gigantic production of 400 million tonnes of plastic each year, with 60 million metric tonnes produced in Europe alone.”