The Plastic Waste Makers Index, published by The Minderoo Foundation, has found that 20 companies are responsible for producing more than half the planet's single-use plastic waste. For the very first time, it analyzed about 1,000 factories, finding that petrochemical firms are the worst offenders. ExxonMobil is the biggest single-use plastic waste contributor with 5.9 million tonnes generated in 2019, followed by Dow and Sinopec with over five million tonnes each.
The research also looked into the countries generating the most single-use plastic waste per capita with Australia one of the very worst ranked. In 2019 the average Australian generated 59 kg of bottles, packaging and other plastic waste while the United States came second with 53 kg. The problem was not as pronounced in the world's most populous nations with China and India only generating 19 kg and 4 kg, respectively.