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Mar 5, 2019 / Richard Hall

Plastics in perspective

I had often wondered, but had never researched, how much oil is required for plastic.

An article in the Financial Times on 18th February enlightened me.

• Over half of global oil consumption is for transport.
• Under 15% is required for petrochemicals.
• Two thirds of this is for plastic.
• 45% of plastic production is for packaging.

The International Energy Agency has forecast that petrochemicals will account for half of global oil demand growth up to 2040.

The article by Christof Rühl challenges this, due to:

• reduced use of plastic bags
• slower growth for other plastic and
• increased recycled content.

I would add:

• greater use of plant-based plastic
• enhanced sustainability of other materials
• increased choice of re-usable containers and dispense systems.

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