top of page

Plastic's Link to Climate Change

As we start getting closer to No Straw November, our goal is to raise awareness on the link between plastic and climate change. Please use the resources below to better understand how the creation of plastic is a leading contributor to carbon emissions.

"Our appetite for plastics is fuelling growing demand for petrochemical products, the International Energy Agency says. Even as we try to curb fossil-fuel use in sectors such as transportation and heating, consumption of plastics will only increase, based on our current trajectory. The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) estimates that if trends continue, plastics will account for 20% of oil consumption by 2050."

"Almost all plastic is derived from materials (like ethylene and propylene) made from fossil fuels (mostly oil and gas). The process of extracting and transporting those fuels, then manufacturing plastic creates billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. For example, 4% of the world's annual petroleum production is diverted to making plastic, and another 4% gets burned in the refining process.

But how we manage all the plastic that then goes into circulation is equally troubling. Of the almost 3 million tonnes of plastic that Australia produces each year, 95% is discarded after a single use. Less than 12% is recycled, which leaves a staggering amount to be disposed of - in landfills or incinerated."

"Oil, gas, and coal are the fossil-fuel building blocks of plastics. Natural gas and oil can be extracted from the earth through fracking. Companies drill wells into the ground until they hit a rock layer, then they turn 90 degrees and drill horizontally. Injecting sand, chemicals, or water breaks up the rock to release gas and oil, which are transported to other facilities via pipelines, trains, and trucks.

Extraction and transportation of these fossil fuels is a carbon-intensive activity. Authors of the CIEL report estimated that 12.5 to 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent are emitted per year while extracting and transporting natural gas to create feedstocks for plastics in the United States."

We cant wait to see how you contribute to this upcoming #NoStrawNovember!


bottom of page