Do You Know What Is Plastic Credit?

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.

What Is the Plastic Pollution?

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.

What is Plastic Credit?

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.

How Does Plastic Credit Work?

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 of plastic footprint. At the end of the entire process, the company can call itself plastic-neutral.

How Much Successful Plastic Credit Is?

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.

Conclusion –

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.

Do You Want to Know What Is EPR?

Do you want to know what is EPR? The full form of EPR is “Extended Producer Responsibility”. It is an urgent need to promote proper trash management since we produce plastic waste compared to the weight of the entire human population. EPR is a positive step in this direction. The goal behind the implementation of the EPR policy is to bring it back into the system to recover resources from waste. In simple words, EPR is a waste management concept the term is used largely whenever it is time to discuss plastic waste conversion. Let’s discuss the topic of EPR.

  • What Exactly EPR Is? 

Thomas Lindqvist, a Swedish professor, coined the word “EPR” first in the 1990s. EPR is a technique for identifying and encapsulating all environmental costs connected with consumer products and packaging over their complete lifecycle. A producer’s commitment to assist with a reverse collection method and recycling of end-of-life, post-consumer waste is known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

According to EPR, manufacturers have to develop less wasteful, damaging and hazardous items before they become “waste,”. EPR aims to shift the responsibility of waste management away from consumers and the government, and back to manufacturers.

  • How Does EPR Work?

The government has approved garbage collection agencies, recycling groups, and recyclers to simplify the proper and timely collection of waste, recycling, and proper disposal. They take care of these tasks on behalf of one company for a fee. PROs (Producer Responsibility Organizations) are a type of company that does this.

On completion, they give the organization a certificate that shows how much plastic garbage it has recycled. Waste recycling targets are now set at 30% which may increase over time.

As a result, EPR establishes a uniform and continuous cycle of responsible waste management. It assures that whoever makes plastic also recycles it, and that plastic is recycled through the supply chain. And continuous implementation of plastic EPR can minimize the ever-increasing challenge of plastic waste management.

  • What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages Of EPR?

 Like any other policy, extended producer responsibility also has its types of advantages & disadvantages for the environment. Let’s explore that topic.

Advantages-

  1. With the major prominence of EPR policy, countries that export E-waste face increased pressure. It will discourage them from exporting E-waste in near future and encourage them to construct their recycling facilities.
  1. We can observe a reduction in producers’ end-of-life costs if fewer materials and designing products that last longer are being used.
  1. Producers, if they face any kind of financial or physical stress from recycling their products, can be financially motivated to design more sustainable and environmentally friendly products which is the ultimate boon to the environment.

Disadvantages-

  1. Such restrictions are anticipated to raise the cost of gadgets as the producers can include the recycling expenses into the initial price tags.
  1. Some worries are about the manufacturers that they may use recall schemes to bring second-hand electronics from the reuse market by shredding rather than reusing or fixing devices that come in for recycling.
  1. Fees are in place to encourage recycling, although this may hinder the adoption of superior materials in the fabrication of various electronic items.
  • Conclusion

In India, in June 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change introduced a new set of EPR guidelines (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020). Though it is very recent in India, in many countries, around the globe Extended Producer Responsibility has been implemented a couple of decades ago as a way of dealing with massive amounts of non-biodegradable yet recyclable waste. In our country, EPR is restricted to plastic and electronic waste (E-Waste). The Plastic Waste Management Rules and the E-Waste Management Rules in India contain the criteria for implementing EPR. Here, EPR is defined as “the producer’s duty for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life” (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020). Strong implementation of EPR policy can result in significant growth in size and profitability of the waste management sector as well as can make a healthy environment.

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How Plastic Extended Producer Responsibility Can Increase Your Profit!

Plastic had become a part of our lives; it has secured its place everywhere in different forms like grocery polythene, coffee lids, water bottles to take out containers. China is the biggest importer of plastic in the world. Its primary sources are Japan, the UK, the USA, and Germany. 

Plastic has undoubtedly many advantages like being cost-effective, easy to purchase, water-proof, comes handy. At the same time, if you look at the other side of the coin, you will understand how problematic plastic is. 

Suppose you bought a plastic water bottle and threw it after your use. Now, the plastic bottle is put up in a landfill to degrade & the study shows that a single plastic water bottle takes 450 years to decompose, and you can imagine the situation now. That’s why we have to be very careful when choosing the plastic-type, such as avoiding using single-use plastics, making cloth shopping bags, buying food in bulk, etc. 

But let’s get honest here we can’t ignore or cut down plastic totally from our lives. That’s why the authorities have come up with a practical solution to deal with plastic waste & that is Plastic Waste Management Programme (2018-2024). The program is the initiative to establish environmental-free plastic disposal methods. 

 Later in 2016, the government of India has introduced Plastic Extended Producer Responsibility

 just like EPR E-Waste. Superficially, this law involved the trading of plastic waste between the producer & manufacturer or recycler. 

How Plastic is traded into business? 

The term EPR is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and according to the EPR Plastic, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to either dispose or recycle post-consumer products. Under this policy, the manufacturers get financial support & plastic producer must give proof of the same amount of recycled plastic produced as waste. So, in the end, he can earn the plastic credit points.  

Generally, the manufacturers recycle the waste plastic to convert it into a usable product. So, it will be sold at a lesser price in the market compared to the fresh products. 

Is EPR Plastic Sustainable? 

The answer is a big ‘yes’ that EPR for plastic waste is sustainable for the following reasons.

It brings the plastic product to its end. 

  • It reduces the headache of management of plastic waste to the industrialist. Since EPR is trading between the producer & manufacturer, so, it is must serve profit to both sides. 
  • The prime principle of EPR compliance is recycling, and it has many benefits, such as 
  • They are reducing the plastic from the environment by recycling & creating a re-usable product from it. 
  • Recycled products have a lesser retail price. It involves working local people as laborers, thus helpful in employing people and thus building the nation’s economy. 
  • Plastic EPR also generates the importance of recycling plastic and thus helping in creating a less hazardous environment for future generations. 

Conclusion

We can’t neglect plastic from our lives, but the economic potential of the waste is much higher if traded legally. Plastic trading is not helping in reducing waste but also providing livelihood to people.