Similar to carbon credits that help firms offset their carbon emissions by effectively paying for projects tasked with tackling the issue, the 3R Initiative, a partnership between non-profits Verra and BVRio, will support recycling projects in developing nations.
They will be purchased by firms aiming to achieve 100% recycled plastic in their products. The money paid for the credits would go to plastic projects such as improving conditions and pay for waste pickers and recyclers in Brazil.
More than a dozen pilot credit-issuing projects will be developed in “plastic leakage hot-spots” in Latin America, Africa and south-east Asia.
“We wanted to create a mechanism that could incentivise new and expanded collection and recycling of waste plastic,” said Julianne Baroody, a director at Verra, which will craft new standards for measuring plastic waste.
Baroody told Reuters that Danone had asked for help to meet its recycling targets. The company currently has a 2025 goal for every piece of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, up from 77% of its plastic packaging in 2017.
Evian has also pledged to make all its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025, up from 25% at present.
The 3R Initiative plans to launch its credit system by 2021, with Verra already running the world’s largest voluntary carbon credit market.