Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Investor statement on the role of petrochemical companies in resolving plastic pollution?

The Investor statement on the role of petrochemical companies in resolving plastic pollution is a call from individual financial institutions to major corporates in the petrochemical industry to address the pollution and negative impacts associated with the production and use of their products. It calls for them to set out concrete , transparent strategies to transition to more sustainable operations.

Q. What is the goal of this statement?

The goal of the Investor statement on the role of petrochemical companies in resolving plastic pollution is to act as a call from private finance to corporates in the petrochemical value chain to address the negative impacts of the production and use of their products.

As the owners and funders of petrochemical corporates, private finance has a crucial role in setting the direction of travel for the industry and outlining how it should change. Pushing for this transition is also positive for financiers by reducing the risk exposure associated with business as usual for the industry.

Q. What are the main investor risks associated with petrochemicals?

The increasing focus on the challenge of plastic pollution poses significant plastic-related risks to petrochemical companies producing plastic polymers. These risks include regulatory risks (e.g. tighter emission controls, bans, taxation, and extended producer responsibility costs), reputational risks, plastic-related litigation, and increased consumer demand for safe and more sustainable products. These risks can be financially material for corporates and their funders1.

Q. What investor statements are there already on plastics?

Currently we are unaware of any investor statements focused on the petrochemical sector. There are a number of statements focused on plastics including:

UNEP FI Finance Statement on Plastic Pollution

CDP open letter on plastic disclosures

VBDO call for global binding regulations on plastic

Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty

Q. What if I have already signed other statements related to the global plastics treaty?

This statement builds on the work to develop a global plastics treaty by highlighting the voice of finance in calling for the petrochemical sector to transition to a sustainable future, in line with a legally binding global treaty on plastic pollution. The statement complements existing efforts by the likes of UNEP FI, PRI, VBDO, the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty and CDP.

We also note that the negative impacts of plastic pollution will remain a matter of concern even if we see the agreement of a Global Plastics Treaty and thus should remain a focus for investors into the petrochemical sector.

Q. What is the communications strategy for the statement?

The investor letter will be published in the week of 24 June 2024. We will work with a communications agency to coordinate with relevant tier one news outlets, laying out the issue investors are trying to address and what their asks are. The letter will carry the names of the organisations who have signed up, as well as the cumulative AUM. Investors who would like to personally comment on the statement should get in touch, but this will not be expected otherwise.

Q. Will there be organized investor engagement with companies after the publishing of the statement?

The organisers of the statement are looking into the opportunity to support collaborative investor engagement to achieve the asks of the statement going forward. Please indicate whether your organization would be interested in joining such an initiative.

Q. Where and when can I sign the statement?

You can sign the statement by emailing Planet Tracker directly. Please contact Nicole Kozlowski, Head of Engagement, at Alternatively, you can sign up to the statement here.

Q. What information does my organisation need to provide to sign the statement?

Your organisation will need to provide its name and AUM when signing up. We will only release cumulative AUM data of signatories. Individual company AUM will not be released and your data will not be stored on our systems.

Q. What does signing the statement mean for my organisation?

Signing the Statement means that your organization acknowledges that private finance can play a key role in addressing the material financial risks related to petrochemical production and use via their finance activities and investments. By signing, they indicate a willingness to actively engage in addressing petrochemicals negative impacts through finance activities and investments, and to help to drive the transition to a sustainable, safe, just, resource efficient, petrochemical sector.

The statement is not a legally binding commitment and does not dictate or alter the investment or engagement strategies of the signatories. Signatories sign the statement voluntarily and independently. Signing the statement should not be construed as collective action by signatories.

Q. What is the INC?

INC stands for Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee. The INC on plastic was created by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) following the resolution (resolution 5/14) adopted by the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) which requested the Executive Director of UNEP to convene an INC tasked with negotiating an international, legally binding instrument (ILBI) to address plastic pollution. The INC began work in the latter half of 2022 and aims to complete the negotiations by the end of 2024.

Although the ILBI is still under discussion, it may cover some areas also touched on by Investor statement on the role of petrochemical companies in resolving plastic pollution. These could include chemicals of concern in plastics and the role of plastic producers in dealing with plastic pollution.

Q. What are the Global Plastic Treaty Negotiations?

The Global Plastic Treaty negotiations are a series of meetings bringing together governments from across the world to work on agreeing a legally binding instrument to address plastic pollution.

So far, four of these Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) meetings have been held. A fifth round is scheduled for Busan, Republic of Korea from 25th November-1st December, with a final treaty potentially being brought forward for signing in mid-2025.

Q. What is the present status of the Global Plastic Treaty negotiations?

So far there have been four rounds of negotiations for a Global Plastic Treaty (GPT), with the last round, INC-4, held April 21st-30th in Ottawa Canada. INC-5 is scheduled for Busan, Republic of Korea from 25th November-1st December.

A final treaty could be adopted sometime in mid-2025, possibly in Ecuador, Peru, Rwanda or Senegal – Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries to adopt a Plastic Pollution Treaty.

Q. What are “chemicals of concern”?

Chemicals of concern includes chemicals used in the manufacturing process and/or included in the final products of the petrochemical industry which are associated with significant negative impacts to human and ecosystem health

There are over 16,000 chemicals used in plastics, including those added to give properties like flexibility, durability and colour. Of these 16,000 chemicals, at least 11,000 have not been assessed for human health and environmental harm. Of the 16,000, at least 4,200 are considered to be highly hazardous and linked to human health and environmental risks, such as cancers. These include, but are not limited to, well known classes such as the “forever chemicals” (PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), bisphenols and phthalates. For more details, see discussion in the Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health.

Due to the huge volume and prevalence of plastics in everyday life, the impacts of the chemicals within them are magnified, and almost unavoidable. Given the lack of transparency concerning the thousands of chemicals used in plastics, it’s nearly impossible for consumers to know what chemicals are present in the plastics they are using and consuming.

More detail on the known risks of particular chemicals can be found on Chemsec’s SIN List (SIN List ( See also a working paper on “Chemicals of concern” for the Global Plastic Treaty here – Policy briefing on chemicals and polymers of concern.