World’s biggest plastic polluters

Table of Contents

Marine life choking on plastic in our oceans, microplastics in our food and beverages, and landfills full of items that will be there for at least a thousand years: this is the plastic world we currently live in. Plastic pollution is real. A staggering 269,000 tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, meaning that there will soon be more plastic than fish in our oceans if we do not change our ways. It is our mission to help fight the battle against single-use plastic bottles and waste. 

But who are the biggest plastic polluters of all? Read this blog for more information about the plastic soup: who are the top 10 plastic polluters worldwide? What countries are responsible for the most plastic in our oceans? And what companies are responsible for the biggest plastic production and use?

Top 10 plastic polluter companies worldwide

It is perhaps no shocker that Coca-Cola is the ultimate top polluter by a significant margin and has been for over five years. Coca-cola is ranked as the world’s top plastic polluter. Actually, the same companies dominate the list for years. These are all Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies. 

Companies responsible for the most plastic pollution world-wide for 2022:

  1. Coca-Cola*
  2. PepsiCo
  3. Nestlé
  4. Unilever
  5. Mondelëz International
  6. Mars
  7. Procter & Gamble
  8. Philip Morris International
  9. Danone
  10. Ferrero Group

*3224000 tons produced annually across 78 countries.

Source: (BreakFreeFromPlastic report 2022)

According to the results from the yearly #BreakFreeFromPlastic research, only global treaty can help reducing plastic production to hold corporations accountable for perpetuating this global plastic soup. Proven solutions centered around reusing and refilling (like our REFILL water station) have demonstrated success in multiple parts of the world to start tackling the plastic problem. 

Top 10 countries with the highest amount of plastic pollution in the oceans for 2022

According to research from #PlasticFreeJuly and packaging retailer RAJA UK, India topped the list as biggest polluter worldwide with a staggering 126.5 millions kg each year that ends up in the ocean. China and Indonesia also topped the list as biggest plastic polluters in our oceans. 

Countries responsible for the biggest plastic pollution in our oceans: 

1. India (126.5 million kg). 
2. China (70.7 million kg). 
3. Indonesia (53.3 million kg). 
4. Brazil (38 million kg). 
5. Thailand (22.8 million kg). 
6. Mexico (3.5 million kg). 
7. Egypt 2.5 million kg). 
8. United States (2.4 million kg). 
9. Japan (1.84 million kg). 
10. United Kingdom (0,703 million kg). 

Source: (CIWEM)

Distribution of plastic production (2021)

If we’re looking at the countries that are responsible for the highest amount of plastic production, China tops the list. China is responsible for 32% of global plastic materials production in 2021, making it the world number one plastic producer by far. China is followed by the world’s second largest plastic producing region: North-America, they are responsible for 18% of the plastic production. In Europe, the plastic footprint is 15%. 

Source: Statista

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