The top 3 less sustainable bioplastics companies are …. according to my opinion:
BASF has had a sustainability problem since its beginning. BASF was forced by the town council of Mannheim to relocate on the other side of the Rhine river (Ludwigshafen) because they polluted too much and their operations were a health hazard for the inhabitants of the town.
- Synthesizing Ammonia
Fritz Haber and BASF enabled industrial production of ammonia. This lead to the commercial use of nitrogen-based fertilizer in agriculture. The production and use of nitrogen-based fertilizers is one of the biggest calamity for the soils and one of the biggest source of pollution on the planet
BASF was part of the IG Farben consortium during WWII; the chemical arm of Hitler. They were trialed at Nuremberg for crime against humanity, affiliation to the SS and leaders in a conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity. BASF had a factory in a Polish village called Auschwitz. BASF should have been dismantled after the trial but due to the Cold War context (West vs East, US vs USSR) it was considered wiser to have an economically strong Germany in the fight against Communism and the USSR.
- Size & Acquisition
BASF is the biggest chemical company because it acquired many companies and businesses. Sustainability has never been a guiding principle to drive BASF acquisitions. Companies where sustainability was high on the agenda sold their dirty operations to companies like BASF. BASF would buy anything to grow!
- Black Rock
A large part of BASF shares are held by institutional investors. American investment company “BlackRock” is the largest institutional investors of BASF. BlackRock has faced protests from environmental campaigners, who have accused the company of hypocrisy for routinely voting against shareholder motions directing boards to take action on the climate crisis.
Plasticulture is the use of plastics in agriculture. BASF has been flooding our agricultural soils with plastic mulch films and they’ve brand it circular.
- Greenwashing & Preaching
BASF has become the “master” greenwasher on circularity. Morality is not a BASF guiding principle but they’re efficient and let’s be honest: What else should they do; sit in their corner and wait? Why not greenwash? Its understandable. Where I have a problem, is when I see BASF lecturing us at circularity and bio-economy events and conferences. That tells me something about the organisers of those events. They should know better. Being lectured on sustainability by BASF is a farce.
- BASF Bioplastics activities include
- PFAS Scandal
DuPont has known for nearly 70 years that PFAS chemicals build up in the blood and are aware since the 1960s of the health risks from exposure to PFAS compounds but hid that information from its workers and the public.
Hollywood made a movie called “Dark Waters” highlighting the role of Dupont in contaminating drinking water.
In August 2017, Dow and Dupont merged to form DowDupont. In April 2019, Dowdupont split into Dow (commodity chemical production), DuPont (specialty chemical production) and Corteva (agricultural chemicals).
- Dupont and ADM partner on bio-based FDME
- Sorona (Bio-PDO); Sorona biofibers are almost 40 percent plant based and are used in clothing, footwear and other item
Neste is a biofuel leader. Biofuels are blended with fossil fuels and burned by internal combustion engines. Burning biofuels is like incinerating bioplastics; it’s not a circular process.
The amount of energy needed to produce one litre of biofuel is bigger than the amount of energy generated by burning that litre of biofuel.
- Palm oil
Neste is using palm oil to produce their biodiesel and they intend to duplicate this for the production of Bio-PP. There’s no such thing as sustainable palm oil. The industrial mono cultures needed to grow palm oil causes deforestation and destroys the natural habitats of many animals. Industrial palm oil cultivations are a calamity to the fauna and flora.
- Animal Content
Neste is using animal content from slaughterhouses to produce their biodiesels and intend to duplicate this for the production of BIO-PP.
Using animal content to produce bioplastics is a politically sensitive issue. Slaughterhouses residues should be processed by fermentation plants and should not be converted into bioplastics feedstock.