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Oil | Petrochemicals

Despite global push to reduce plastic use, demand impact for oil and other feedstocks remains unaffected

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Listen: Despite global push to reduce plastic use, demand impact for oil and other feedstocks remains unaffected

A movement to reduce plastic use has led to bans worldwide on shopping bags, straws and other single-use items, but no noticeable impact on demand for crude oil and other feedstocks used to make plastic.

Petrochemical and plastic demand is forecast to increase at as much as four times the rate of demand for transportation fuels and petrochemicals will account for roughly 30% of global oil demand over the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency.

On this week's podcast, we talk with Boston Globe reporter Janelle Nanos about her attempt to rid plastic from her life.

We also talk with Rob Stier, senior lead for global petrochemicals with S&P Global Platts, about why bag and straw bans have yet to substantially impact demand. From China's recent decision to stop recycling the world's trash to food security complications, Stier talks about the hurdles the petrochemical industry faces as the global pollution crisis worsens.

Janelle Nanos's Boston Globe Magazine story: I broke up with plastic, and you can, too