INEOS is a chemical giant, in the top 5 of the world’s largest chemical producers. It relies on fracking to produce ethylene and other natural gases which are then used as the feedstock in the production of plastic pellets (many of which are lost during transportation) and other virgin plastics.
The chemical plants pollute the environment with carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases. Most of the plastic they produce further adds to the problem of plastic pollution; very little is recycled.
Furthermore, the gas is explosive and the production in the U.S. and pipeline transportation system between the US and Europe is dangerous for those that live nearby.
INEOS has experienced regular fires, gas and oil leaks to uncontrolled escapes of toxic substances.
In Cologne, INEOS carry out explosions in order to relieve pressure. In September 2017, 14 workers were hospitalised with blast trauma.
In Scotland, there are illegal flarings, smells and noises. In June 2019, INEOS was declared the worst air polluter in Scotland.
At a time when there is an urgent need to drastically reduce both the use of fossil fuels and the production and consumption of plastic, INEOS is expanding its business. And why shouldn’t they, when their sales rake in around 60 billion euros annually? The world is moved by the economy, an economy which highly disregards the environment. The company has become, however, a key target of the anti-fracking and anti-plastic movements in recent years.
Besides the destructive impact INEOS wreaks on the environment, the company has certainly had its share of social, environmental and construction-related permit violations. They have also been accused of abusing their exploration licences for shale gas and threatening landowners (such as The National Trust in Nottinghamshire) to allow them to explore for gas, despite a UK government ban on fracking exploration.
Campaigns such as ‘INEOS WILL FALL’ in Antwerp resort to civil protests and legal proceedings to try and stop the company from building more plastic plants in Antwerp*. This reputation is increasingly giving INEOS an image which is in dire need of a makeover.
INEOS is attempting to provide eco-friendly arguments for an eco-friendly image. Sportswashing has been very successful in helping companies improve their reputation; this goes as far back as 1928 when Coca-Cola sponsored its first Olympic Games. INEOS had to jump on that bandwagon.
Many people oppose the association between these successful sporting programmes and a company that produces plastic and toxic chemicals.
INEOS owns and supports the America’s Cup sailing team INEOS Britannia. They produce some of the chemicals used to make the boats, helmets worn by sailors, sports glasses and hand sanitisers, amongst others.
The company owns two major football clubs: FC Lausanne- Sport in Switzerland and French League One side OCG Nice, according to its website.
INEOS is the main partner and sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.
The company follows the ‘Strict Zero Pellet Loss Programme’’, in an attempt to ‘solve’ the problematic loss of plastic pellets during transportation. Ironically, ‘plastic waste’ is highlighted as the real issue. INEOS continues to produce more plastic.
The conservation, education, health and local community charities supported by INEOS create a wonderful image on their website. INEOS has announced a €3 billion investment in new plastic production facilities in Antwerp.
INEOS has sponsored events such as Daily Mile, New Zealand Rugby and Team Sky cycling.
INEOS is courting the public and youth – while sponsoring sport is great, it is simultaneously greenwashing INEOS’ role in the climate crisis.
Their claims are irrelevant if their overall impact is growing and if they are not disclosing to the public the emissions they are responsible for. The public is starting to see them for who they really are.
For more information contact: email@example.com
*INEOS WILL FALL: You can contribute to the cause and sign the petition here. This will increase the pressure on the government of Belgium.
Plastic Pollution Lifecycle Courtesy: Break Free From Plastic Movement #breakfreefromplastic
Plastic Puffin INEOS
By Andy Gheorghiu, https://energytransition.org/author/andy-gheorghiu/,
by @bryanMMathers licenced under CC-BY-ND
INEOS Grenadiers Rider: Michał Kwiatkowski. Photo: Reuters/ Sebastien Nogier