The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that between 2018 and 2050 the petchem industry will create nearly half the growth in world oil demand, adding almost seven million barrels of consumption each day.
The increasing demand for plastic is one of the main contributors to this issue, as developing nations are consuming more and not discarding it correctly, which is having a negative impact on our oceans and environment.
IEA’s analysts wrote: “If no action is taken, the current rate of plastic waste leakage [into the ocean] is likely to result in more than a doubling of cumulative plastic waste in the oceans by 2030, and a continuing rise thereafter. This is a starkly unacceptable feature of the [baseline scenario].
“Without ambitious action being taken globally, particularly in regions in which plastic demand is growing rapidly, current trends of plastic leakage are unlikely even to slow, let alone reverse.”
It has therefore been predicted that by 2050, the ocean will have five times more plastic than it’s current rate, causing it to exceed 500 million tonnes.
Petchem CO2 emissions are expected to rise from 1.5 gigatons per year, as recorded 2017, to approximately 1.9 gigatons per year in 2050.
Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director added: “Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends. In fact, our analysis shows they will have a greater influence on the future of oil demand than cars, trucks and aviation.”