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Net-Zero Plastic Is Possible by 2050 With Massive Investment

Measures such as building out carbon capture and storage would be effective but spending must start immediately, according to a new report from BNEF. 

Swire Coca-Cola Co. Bottling Plant Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

Awareness of plastic pollution and the danger it introduces to our oceans continues to grow, but the industry poses another, lesser-known threat to our planet: Its manufacturing process emits massive amounts of greenhouse gasses.

Petrochemicals, the key chemical feedstocks used to make plastics, are responsible for up to 2% of global emissions, the equivalent of all of aviation. Decarbonizing plastic is considered even more complex than other tough-to-decarbonize industries such as cement and steel. This is because both its feedstocks and its production use fossil fuels.