The Plastic Crisis Has Deep Corporate Roots: To Protect Our Planet, They Need To Be Exposed

Despite increasing public awareness of (and regulations on) plastic pollution, the global plastic crisis is only getting worse. Credit: Albert Oppong-Ansah/IPS.

Despite increasing public awareness of (and regulations on) plastic pollution, the global plastic crisis is only getting worse. Credit: Albert Oppong-Ansah/IPS.

By External Source
Aug 5 2022 – This spring, I taught a new undergraduate course in environmental sociology. Most of my students took the course because they were curious to see what their desire to live more sustainably had to do with sociology.

By the third week – after a deep dive into the troubling connections between fossil capitalism (the dependence of capitalism on fossil fuels), waste colonialism (the unjust international trade and disposal of hazardous waste between countries) and environmental injustice – a few students said glumly that they had thought the course would be more optimistic.

The negotiations will be challenging, however, given businesses’ vested interests in keeping regulations focused on waste rather than production. Now, it’s urgent that we push back against greenwashing and work towards a global mandate for limiting unsustainable plastics growth

During the fourth week, we explored the well-documented history of climate denial and deception among fossil fuel companies, as well as the related “deceit and denial” tactics of the tobacco, lead and chemical industries. “Do you think it’s really true?” one student asked me imploringly. “Do you think that businesses are really that unsustainable and will never change?”

I hesitated. I wanted my students to consider complex environmental problems from a critical sociological perspective, but I didn’t want to lead them down a pessimistic path. “Well,” I admitted, “I did just write a book about the plastics industry with the subtitle ‘how corporations are fuelling the ecological crisis and what we can do about it’”.

It’s hard to avoid pessimism when you witness firsthand the obstinacy of socially and environmentally damaging industries. Early in 2019, I attended a plastics industry conference in the wake of the marine plastic crisis, prompted by public outrage over viral images of marine wildlife choking on plastic. The crisis prompted a swift response from plastic-related corporations, who attempted to frame the problem in terms of littering and waste rather than overproduction. “We need to get the image of plastic in the oceans out of the public’s mind,” exclaimed a corporate executive at the conference. “We need to make plastic fantastic again.”

Since the dramatic rise of plastic production across the world after the second world war, petrochemical and plastics companies have fought to expand and protect their markets through creating demand for plastic products, denying toxic risks and shifting blame for pollution onto consumers. And despite increasing public awareness of (and regulations on) plastic pollution, the global plastic crisis is only getting worse.

My new book, Plastic Unlimited, sheds light on the corporate roots of this crisis. In it, I address the concept of the “corporate playbook” used by big oil, big tobacco, and, more recently, big plastic.


Playbook tactics

The corporate playbook often contains a common repertoire of strategies used by controversial industries to conceal or cast doubt on the harmful effects of their products. Champions of these strategies have been dubbed “merchants of doubt” and accused of offences from downplaying the health risks of smoking to funding climate change denial.

As researcher David Michaels wrote in his exposé Doubt is Their Product, “the manipulation of science by the plastics industry was at least as flagrant and as self-serving as any other industry” he had researched – including the tobacco industry. Michaels was referring to the vinyl chloride scandals of the 1960s and 1970s, when leading chemical companies conspired to hide evidence about the toxic health effects of the vinyl chloride monomer on workers in chemical plants.

Big industry’s track record continues today. It has denied the toxic hazards of myriad petrochemicals and plastic products, funded climate misinformation campaigns, misled the public about the effectiveness of recycling, and lobbied to thwart and delay environmental regulations. During the pandemic, it also lobbied to promote single-use plastic bags as the “sanitary choice”.

Leading corporations also use offensive tactics, including directing attention to their role as so-called innovators in green tech. Take the circular economy, for example. It sounds like a great idea to try to eliminate waste by shifting from a linear “take-make-waste” economy to one in which existing materials are reused for as long as possible. But, crucially, no global or national policy visions of a circular economy for plastics go so far as to call for limiting plastic production altogether.

In fact, the plastics industry promotes the weakest form of the circular economy – recycling – which means plastic production can keep going, despite the reality that most items going into a recycling bin will end up being burned or dumped.

What’s more, recycling uses a lot of energy. Chemical recycling, for instance, involves returning plastics to their original molecular states to be used again. Although it’s promoted as a solution to the plastic crisis, it’s a toxic, carbon-intensive process that’s effectively the same as incineration.

Here’s some good news: in March 2022, the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi agreed on a mandate for a new global treaty to address the crisis. This was a landmark achievement towards creating legally binding measures to prevent toxic plastic pollution.

Many scientists, activists and organisations insist that any resulting treaty must include a cap on plastic production. The negotiations will be challenging, however, given businesses’ vested interests in keeping regulations focused on waste rather than production. Now, it’s urgent that we push back against greenwashing and work towards a global mandate for limiting unsustainable plastics growth.The Conversation

Alice Mah, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Automobili Lamborghini's NFT journey continues countdown to the eight-month “The Epic Road Trip” program releasing new Lamborghini NFTs to collect

New York, NY, Aug. 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following its two successful NFT projects to date, Automobili Lamborghini, in collaboration with NFT PRO and INVNT.ATOM, has commenced a virtual journey that starts from the Moon, crosses Space and continues in iconic locations across the world.

In this new adventure, Lamborghini super sports cars will be the unmissable protagonists of places that the traveler can visit and discover, collecting new NFTs every month for eight months until March 2023. The collection consists of four NFTs released each month for 4 days consecutively and will be available to purchase for 24 hours only. The fourth NFT will be available in a limited edition of just 63 units. At the very end of the campaign, only those who have acquired all the monthly NFTs issued "" either the three regular NFTs or three regular plus the limited edition – will receive a special NFT.

To reward loyalty during the campaign, other exclusive surprises will be communicated, including a digital artwork by the Lamborghini Centro Stile produced for “The Epic Road Trip” campaign, for those who purchase two complete monthly collections. For those who have completed the first four months acquisitions there will be the opportunity to participate in a special tour of the Sant'Agata Bolognese's Headquarters.

“Since 1963, the year of its foundation, Automobili Lamborghini has always led from the front, demonstrating this with its super sports cars that continue to be the protagonists in dreams of children and adults all over the world. Entering the virtual world of modern collecting with NFTs is the natural translation and evolution of that dream,” said Christian Mastro, Marketing Director of Automobili Lamborghini. "NFTs are the new, unconventional and exclusive proposition, paving the way for a new form of expression for the younger generations."

“Lamborghini loyalists and cryptocurrency fans will be amazed by this next series of drops that culminate in a very special reveal next March,” said Christian Ferri, CEO of NFT PRO, Lamborghini's launch partner and expert in engagement with consumers of Web3. "We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Lamborghini by offering this truly exclusive NFT collection."

INVNT.ATOM the global digital innovation division of [INVNT GROUP]; led the creative, strategy, design, content, and marketing communications.

"Our previous collaboration with Lamborghini – auctioning off a 1:1 NFT attached to the last physical Aventador Coup super sportscar "" was a testament to how impactful storytelling at the digital frontier cultivates community and consumer engagement. We're honored to grow our relationship with Lamborghini and to be partnering with NFT PRO to celebrate innovation and Lamborghini's 1963 heritage," said Scott Cullather, President, and CEO of [INVNT GROUP].

The first series of four NFTs will be released starting from 8 August 2022 on the website

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INVNT.ATOM, part of [INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT, is an innovation and brand experience agency devoted to helping global brands chart a course, navigate, activate, and create new opportunities at the digital frontier of Web3. Based in Singapore, the collective of strategists, marketers, creators, programmers, matchmakers, and thought leaders, turn strategies into stories and stories into experiences, that engage communities on the global stage. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit:


[INVNT GROUP] was established as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT. Led by President and CEO, Scott Cullather, [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT represents a portfolio of disciplines designed to help forward–thinking organizations innovate and impact audiences everywhere. The GROUP consists of modern brand strategy firm, Folk Hero; creative–led culture consultancy, Meaning; production studio & creative agency, HEV'; events for colleges and universities, INVNT Higher Ed; digital innovation division, INVNT.ATOM; creative multimedia studio, Hypnogram; and the original live brand storytelling agency, INVNT. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit:


NFT PRO is a white –label NFT solution for enterprises, helping brands strategize, create, and sell NFT's to customers, fans, and collectors. Their proprietary methodology and software take the guesswork from setting up and executing an NFT strategy and ensure consistent results and brand safety for every campaign. NFT PRO simplifies creating and executing NFT campaigns that are both effective and on–brand. For more information about NFT PRO, visit: