The Dirty Profits 8 Report of Facing Finance focuses on plastic pollution and its effect on ecosystems, the climate and the livelihood of people.
From plastic bottles that take hundreds of years to fall apart, to conventional or supposedly biodegradable disposable bags, to the tiniest microplastic particles – the negative consequences of never-ending plastic consumption are everywhere. Residues from synthetic production can be found on the beach, in the mountains, in the fields, in the city and in every remote place on the globe. But who is responsible for the pollution?
In the latest edition of the Dirty Profits report, we examine the financial relationships of 8 European banks to 14 international corporations along the plastic production chain, that are significantly involved in global plastic pollution. The financial relationships between banks and international corporations are examined on the basis of various companies -from the oil and gas sector, the chemical industry and their customers from the consumer goods industry and e-commerce.
Banks play a central role in the global plastic pollution caused by the plastics industry. Plastics corporations are part of the real economy but, like all companies, they need capital. The decision as to which companies receive money should not, however, be a purely economic one. It should also take social and environmental responsibility into account. Just as financing and investment decisions made many years ago are playing out in current crises like global warming and plastics pollution, today’s decisions will impact tomorrow’s world. So banks can also contribute to overcoming contemporary and future crises.