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High Oil Prices Will Impact Plastics, Groceries, Uber Rides, and More

  • High oil prices are leading to higher gas prices, but that’s not the only thing impacted.
  • Plastic products rely on the oil industry and could become more expensive.
  • Groceries, Uber rides, and flights could get pricier in the coming months too.

Filling up your gas tank isn’t the only thing that’s about to get more expensive.

Earlier this month, the price of oil soared to nearly $140 a barrel for the first time since 2008 after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine led to harsh US sanctions on Russian oil and gas. While the US imports only a fraction of its fuel from Russia, Russia is a major global supplier — and less Russian oil and gas flowing into the marketplace has caused a ripple effect impacting prices across the board. 

It’s resulted in higher costs at US gas pumps: The national average hit a record high of $4.33 per gallon on March 11 — a year ago, the average price of regular gas was around $2.88, according to AAA data.

Prices have retreated slightly, back below $120 a barrel, but they may not stay that way. Some experts estimate oil could hit $200 a barrel this year as sanctions on Russian oil create a permanent hole in the market that’s likely to send shockwaves through entire economies in unexpected ways. 

From razors to Uber rides —here’s what will take a hit. 

Rising gas prices mean rising transportation costs

A Delta flight

Getty Images

Prices at the pump are the most obvious and direct impact of oil price


, which means anything that relies on gas is likely to see a price hike. 

Uber added a fuel surcharge for rides and deliveries in an attempt to offset higher gas prices. Lyft and Instacart followed suit to help alleviate the strain of higher gas prices on drivers, although some Uber and Lyft drivers told Insider it’s not enough to cover their rising expenses.

Jet fuel prices were already on the rise prior to the Russian invasion — one analyst told Insider that global domestic fares were likely to increase as much as 6% on average each month as a result. Now, those fares are likely to go up even more: Delta execs warned recently that the increased fuel costs combined with a post-Omicron travel surge mean fares could rise as much as 10%.

Online shopping and groceries could get more costly

grocery shopping

Scott Olson/Getty Images

It could start getting more expensive to ship goods around the world, and retailers may start raising prices even more than they already have, Mindy Yu, director of investing at financial adviser Betterment, told Bloomberg.

“Companies are paying for the manufacturing input, and after the good is produced how does that ultimately get transported to the consumers? It’s through the fuel costs of shipping or freight costs,” Yu said. “Those are areas that we’re going to see aggregate inputs that companies pass onto consumers.”

This includes groceries, which had already become more expensive amid record inflation. 

Farmers are already seeing their costs go up, as farming vehicles require diesel fuel — filling up a single tractor can cost as much as $375. Farmers who transport their meat or crops to markets need to fill up their trucks, which is growing increasingly costly. And for those who deliver to grocery stories, transporting those goods costs more now too — which means stores could hike up prices for customers.

Countless household goods rely on the oil industry

Two women shop for cold and flu medicine in aisle of Walgreens store

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Oil and natural gas — another major Russian export — are key components in plastic, which means the price of everyday products could go up too. 

Eyeglasses, nylon stockings, razor handles, vegan leather — all of them contain petroleum, and all of them could become more expensive. Even pharmaceuticals could see price hikes: Allergy pills, bandages, and ointment are oil-based, as is the plastic packaging they’re in. And then there are products like smartphones, plywood, carpeting, and tires, which are all made with oil.

Even the foam used in furniture and seats in cars is dependent on the oil industry, and when it was disrupted by the Texas storm in 2021, it led to shortages that lasted months

“Petroleum is at the root of so many different products, from makeup to plastic bags to fertilizer. You can’t escape the use of oil,” Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis at, told NBC News

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