Dirty Profits 8 – Plastic Profits: Disposable plastics, indispensable planet. Plastic profits made by banks and companies and how they affect the environment.


Year: 2021
Publisher: Facing Finance

From the series: Dirty Profits (8/9)

Partner: Break Free From Plastic, Plastic Soup Foundation & Andy Gheorghiu

Funded by: Brot für die Welt, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Misereor, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Kindernothilfe

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Download the statements of banks and companies

Press Release


The negative consequences of our never-ending plastic consumption are everywhere, from plastic bags that take hundreds of years to decompose, to conventional or supposedly biodegradable single-use bags, to the tiniest microplastic particles. Residues of synthetic production can be found on the beach, in the mountains, in the fields, in the city and in every remote corner of the globe. But who is responsible for the pollution?

In the eighth edition of the Dirty Profits report, we examine the financial relationships of 8 European banks with 14 international companies along the plastic production chain that are major contributors to global plastic pollution. The financial relationships between banks and international companies are examined using examples from the oil and gas sector, the chemical industry and their customers in the consumer goods and e-commerce sectors.

Banks play a central role in the global plastic pollution caused by plastic companies. As part of the real economy, plastic companies depend on capital just like any other business. However, the decision as to which companies should receive funding should not be based solely on economic considerations. Social and environmental responsibility should also be taken fully into account. Just as past financing and investment decisions are reflected in current crises such as global warming or plastic pollution, today’s decisions will affect tomorrow’s world. In this way, banks can also help to overcome the current and future crises.