Plastic Waste and the Top 25 Companies Producing It

“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

The global plastic waste crisis has impacted huge swaths of our planet’s oceans and waterways, but just a few petrochemical companies hold the fate of the world’s plastic crisis in their hands. The 25 companies shown here are the source of more than half of single-use plastic items thrown away globally. ExxonMobil alone contributes 5.9 million metric tons to global plastic waste, closely followed by Dow and Sinopec. Their business model relies on the destruction of the only home humanity has ever known. Meanwhile, we misdirect our outrage at our neighbors, friends, and family for using plastic straws or not recycling. Whether or not we separate our recycling, these corporations will go on trashing the planet unless we stop them.

Map by Jordan Engel. As always, the Decolonial Atlas’ original media can be reused under the Decolonial Media License 0.1.

Minderoo Foundation Plastic Waste Makers Index
Ocean Cleanup Foundation


  1. While some measures against global warming like phasing out coal are being taken (very very slowly), the real elephant in the room is the oil industry (which has very little energetic reason to exist anymore, as renewables + hydrogen can perfectly replace it right now). There are various inertias keeping it alive, incl. lobbying by the very powerful oil companies, but the main one is the privilege of the US dollar is, since the Nixon-Saud deal (which made oil being sold almost exclusively in USD and thus an oil-backed currency and not a true fiat currency). If oil would be phased out or (as countries like Iran or Venezuela are doing) sold in any valid international divisa (euros, yuans, whatever), then the US economy would falter and the USA would lose its financial privileges, which allows it to issue debt in its own currency and to spread around inflation across the globe (instead of keeping it at home, as happens to any other trigger-happy currency printer polity).

    This is something that is hardly ever debated when we discuss the ecological catastrophe but it must be addressed.


  2. Reblogged this on Bagauda and commented:
    Los 25 mayores productores de residuos plásticos que están destruyendo nuestro planeta. Nótese la relación plástico = petróleo. Nótese también que una de las principales razones para el mantenimiento de la industria petrolera es el mantenimiento artificial del valor del dólar USA (por el pacto Nixon-Saud que implica que el petróleo en general sólo se vende en esta moneda).


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