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Conventional plastics are big greenhouse gas emitters.
Globally, we produce ~310 million metric tons of plastic each year, and almost all of it is made from petroleum. In fact, 5-6% of the world's annual oil production becomes feedstock for plastic manufacturing.
All of this plastic takes an ecological toll. Today, a third of all plastics end up in ecosystems as waste, while just 5% are successfully recycled. If this trend continues, plastic will outweigh fish in the world's oceans by 2050. The rest are landfilled or burned, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Making plastics from nature, and returning them to nature, is the answer.
The alternative to petro-plastics are bioplastics. Bioplastics are derived from plants and exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans. The cellulose in the cell walls of plants, chitin in the shells and exoskeletons of certain creatures, and other natural polymers found in potatoes, sugarcane, tree bark, algae, and shrimp are all valuable ingredients for bioplastics.
Bioplastics can reduce emissions and sequester carbon for a few reasons. The fact that they're made from plants means that the carbon from those plants came from the atmosphere, not newly dug up from the ground in the form of fossil fuels. Bioplastics can even return that carbon back into the ecosystem if they're made to be biodegradable.
We need to do it fast.
90% of current plastics could be derived from plastics, yet it's estimated that petro-plastic production will quadruple by 2050. We need bioplastic companies to compete and scale fast.
Here are the publicly traded companies that are making it happen. This list represents all of the bioplastics stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange (except for penny stocks whose share prices were less than $0.50 in our last update). We only include companies if they derive more revenue from bioplastics than from fossil fuel-dependent business, like conventional plastics.
If you are a Carbon Collective member, you own all of these companies through the Climate Index.
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|Danimer Scientific, Inc. (DNMR)||
Danimer produces bio-based plastics using microorganisms to create polyesters by feeding them inexpensive plant oils.