Do you know what is plastic credit? Plastic credit is a transformative way of funding to give a catalytic effect to our transition toward the circular economy. Growing awareness of the matter is related to a sustainable solution to the plastic pandemic. Plastic credits are associated with the local need and the global system of plastic management. Let’s explore the topic of plastic credit.
The global scenario of plastic waste is getting worse day by day and the reason behind this plastic epidemic is our irresponsible activities toward the environment.
Though it is sounding alarming it is a fact that every year we are producing a lumpsum amount of plastic waste which is more than the combined weight of the entire humanity.
Data says, in the year 2020, the total production of new plastic is over 370 billion kg which is on a tragic note, more the 320 billion kg, the total weight of the combined human population on the planet.
In our country, we are producing 25000 metric tons of plastic every day. Isn’t it a horrible situation? Yes, it is, we are producing such an amount of single-use plastic that we can’t recycle. The problem needs a sustainable and effective solution to lessen the hazardous effects of plastic on the ecosystem.
The plastic credit model of EPR compliance is an initiative to bring an ethical & sustainable solution to the problem of plastic pollution. Plastic credits are considered as an effective procedure to remove or recycle excess plastic waste from the environment. The concept of plastic credit is inspired by the carbon credit model which was crafted to reduce excess carbon emissions.
According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “a plastic credit is a transferable unit representing a certain quantity of collected and perhaps recycled plastic from the environment”.
Two key role players are involved in a plastic EPR model. One is the organizations that use plastic during the production of their products and packaging. Another one is the projects that collect plastics from the environment and recycle them into new products.
The Association of these two companies is very important to running a successful plastic EPR model. An EPR company takes the responsibility to recycle the similar amount of plastic that they produce and eventually comes into the landfills. As per them, plastic credits are one of the best options to reduce plastic waste.
The working mechanism of plastic credits is interesting. For An EPR company, how much quantity of plastic waste, it is keeping in the environment is called the plastic footprint. After calculating this data, the company can proceed to purchase the same amount of plastic credit as per its plastic footprint. So, if a company has a plastic footprint of “X” kg., it can purchase plastic credit of “X” kg.
The amount one company is paying to purchase plastic credits is given to one particular project. Now, it comes under the liability of that project to collect or recycle the same amount of plastic waste plastic footprint. At the end of the entire process, the company can call itself plastic-neutral.
The plastic crediting system is a waste management significant tool. But if it is not implemented correctly, it can cause harm to the waste management process.
Plastic credit can initiate misleading claims of “plastic neutrals” and other potential terminology around offsetting.
Another danger is that work on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) implementation may be hampered. EPR has been recognized by the WWF as a required and effective strategy in the fight against plastic waste. There is particular fear that widespread adoption of crediting activities would either not coordinate with local EPR implementation or will be perceived as a suitable substitute for EPR. It needs to be observed if voluntary credit systems will help or hinder the adoption of EPR policies by governments. Participants should be aware that bespoke programs have the potential to obstruct beneficial interventions.
The approach of plastic credit intends to legalize the recycling sector by providing waste management organizations and recyclers who have adopted the plastic credit model with larger monetary advantages. This concept has the potential to revolutionise India’s urban environments by providing waste management agencies with stability and scalability, allowing for faster recycling.
Furthermore, the PWMR mandated plastic makers to offset their responsibility by finding a recycler within the same month in the geographic area where their product is distributed. This will assist both the local biodiversity and the people who work in the recycling industry.
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