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‘War on plastic’ could strand oil industry’s £300bn investment

The Guardian: ‘War on plastic’ could strand oil industry’s £300bn investment

Major oil firms plan to grow plastic supply to counter impact of shift against fossil fuels

Jillian Ambrose: Fri 4 Sep 2020 06.00 BST

The war on plastic waste could scupper the oil industry’s multi-billion dollar bet that the world will continue to need more fossil fuels to help make the petrochemicals used in plastics, according to a new report.

Major oil companies, including Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell, plan to spend about $400bn (£300bn) to help grow the supply of virgin plastics by a quarter over the next five years, to compensate for the impact of electric vehicles and clean energy technologies on demand for fossil fuels.

Industry data has predicted that plastics will be the largest driver of oil demand growth in the coming years but new figures suggest these investments may be left stranded as global governments push through plans to cut single-use plastics and increase recycling to help tackle plastic pollution.


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