How much oil is used to make plastic

Plastics are a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and so can be molded into solid objects. Plasticity is the general property of all materials which can deform irreversibly without breaking but, in the class of moldable polymers, this occurs to such a degree that their actual name derives from this specific ability.

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Plastics have diverse uses, hence they have a still growing popularity in the world, with different types of plastics being introduced annually. They are also cheaper than alternatives which makes them more popular with most packaging companies. 

Facts on Plastic


The world’s plastics pollution problem is certainly grave and the risk it imposes on mother nature is certainly serious. We have plastics affecting marine life on a daily as well as land life. The Great Pacific garbage patch is real and yet still the solutions are few and far between. Very few environmentalists have managed to set regulations that have been enforced in countries. 

Common Production 

The average portion of the total plastics output that packaging takes up is about 35 to 45 percent. This is less than that which actually goes into plastic production. However there are more shocking facts, such as the fact that all plastics are made from crude oil.

Scientifically speaking no plastics are made from crude oil. They are instead made from the feedstock that is derived from crude oil.  Of course, this does not have any bearing on their environmentally unfriendly properties.

That is whether it is derived from crude oil or from a crude oil feedstock, plastic still takes centuries to degrade, and in the meantime due to agents such as wind and rain, they shed tiny particles that enter the food chain.

Alternative Production

Many plastics are actually made from natural gas feedstock. In the United States, the most common feedstock for plastics, be it for packaging or anything else, is natural gas liquids, liquid petroleum gases, and natural gas. However most governments still wager wars on plastic production especially in Europe, Asia and also the United States. 

A report in 2017 on global plastics found that plastic production in the United States was growing at an annual rate of 1.6 percent, while China was producing 3 percent more plastics every year on average. According to the same report, plastics for packaging constituted 19 percent of the total plastics production in 2016, which became the second largest segment after Other Plastic Products. 


Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass and often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, however, an array of variants are made from renewable materials such as polylactic acid from corn or cellulosics from cotton linters.

It is statistically proven that millions of tons of plastics enter markets around the world every year. Plastic production accounts for about 4 percent of global oil production. However, these statistics were according to figures for the year 2012. Which means that by now it may well be higher than that. 

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