From the ornate costumes worn during Mardi Gras parades, to the fantastic floats and food, see how oil and natural gas play a role in some of the most famous Carnival celebrations around the world.


Carnival in Rio is rooted in both European and Brazilian tradition, and entails four days of parades, street parties, music and food. Some highlights of the festivities are always the Carnival Balls, where guests wear elaborate costumes and dance the night away. In many cases, the extravagant fashions are created using synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester and spandex as a base that is then covered in decorative glitter, artificial gemstones, beads and sequins, all made from plastics, which have been created through oil and natural gas processes.


Handmade masks worn by Carnival revelers in Venice’s Piazza San Marco Square are the hallmark of the city’s Mardi Gras celebrations. While traditional masks are made from papier maché and adorned with feathers and gems, many masks also showcase intricate designs using plastic beads, sequins and other decorative materials created through oil and natural gas production processes.

New Orleans

Anyone who has visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras has undoubtedly come home with a bag full of plastic beads they caught from the many float riders gleefully throwing them into the crowds. These festive necklaces feature fun designs, many of which are unique to each specific float and parade crew. The floats themselves are built and decorated in warehouses all around the city, a process which can take up to a year to complete. Once they are ready for parade day, the larger, more elaborate floats are pulled along the parade route by tractors with synthetic rubber wheels, which are made from made from derivatives of oil and natural gas. For over 100 years, these floats have been riding down the streets of New Orleans, making its celebration one of the oldest and most storied Mardi Gras traditions in the United States.