Recycling plastic waste has powerful climate impacts that need to be quantified

Plastic waste pollution contributes to climate change while improved waste management and recycling can help mitigate climate impacts. However, decision-makers lack the relevant tools and accessible information to help them assess the opportunity for investing in the waste management and recycling value chain.


The Circulate Initiative has developed an open-sourced prototype GHG calculator to track the environmental impact of plastic waste management and recycling solutions that prevent plastic pollution in India and Indonesia. This tool is based on the findings of a paper published by Circulate Capital and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a unit of Singapore’s  Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).


The resulting tool allows users to assess the extent to which their investments can generate quantifiable climate benefits, specific to the unique characteristics of Asian waste management systems.


About the Calculator

Use PLACES to generate custom queries and calculate carbon savings for India and Indonesia based on:

  • Plastic-type

  • Tonnes of plastic waste

  • End-of-life fates

For example, what are the climate impacts of diverting 25,000 tonnes of plastic from incineration? What if it's high-density polyethylene?

Our inspiration for PLACES

PLACES is inspired by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), which assists organizations and individuals in tracking and reporting greenhouse gas emissions reductions and economic impacts based on US waste recovery models. 


PLACES was launched to provide investors data for India and Indonesia; two markets that are at different stages of recycled plastics market development and waste management infrastructure. India and Indonesia also represent two major markets in South and Southeast Asia  where plastic waste contributions are significant today and forecast to grow in the coming decades due to the growth in consumer class and higher urbanization rates of medium sized cities.

How the Tool Can Help You

Are you ...


An Investor

ESG-focused investors can use the calculator to evaluate supply chain interventions to mitigate climate risks and strengthen the transition to a low-carbon economy.


An Entrepreneur

Recyclers and service providers can use the calculator to estimate their contribution to greenhouse gas, energy, and water savings.


A City Planner

Waste management and urban resilience planning teams can quantify and compare the impacts of recycling interventions and strategic scenarios.


From Our Partners

"The recent International Panel on Climate Change’s report is another wake up call to take immediate action against climate change and reducing plastic waste should be part of the plan since the climate and the plastic crisis are intertwined. The Circulate Initiative’s work to assess the intersection of climate investing and circular plastics in SSEA is the first of its kind to demonstrate the potential for the circular economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate action.

Their work is also valuable as it illustrates tangible ways investors and other actors can support the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Pathway for Plastics and accelerate the Net Zero transition. Accounting only for the tip of the iceberg, proper waste management and recycling prove to be effective tools to deliver impacts as high as the reduction of 148 million tCO2e by 2030, combining India and Indonesia’s scenarios.

I hope that TCI's online calculator will shine a new light for decision makers quantifying impacts of climate."


Gonzalo Muñoz

COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champion, Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate


Find Out More


Download and Explore Scenarios

Download the calculators for India or Indonesia to explore how plastic waste interventions can make a significant contribution to either country's waste emissions target. 

The custom version allows the user to customize the inputs for LCA system model, distance to the recycler, and different end-of-life fate percentages.

Read the Insights

Learn more about the methodology, assumptions and key findings from the Life Cycle Assessment study which forms the basis for PLACES.


Read the insights from the report on The Intersection Of Climate Investing And Circular Plastics In South And Southeast Asia.

The Life Cycle Assessment of Plastic Waste End-of-Life for India and Indonesia peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of Resources, Conservation & Recycling is also available. Please note a subscription may be required.


Watch the Launch Webinar

Hear from The Circulate Initiative and A*STAR on the vision and ambition for PLACES as well as the research behind its conception.


We also show a live demo of the tool in action using real case examples.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Please click below to find answers to the mostly commonly asked questions about PLACES and the related Life Cycle Assessment study.


Please click the link to access the complete list of sources consulted for the Life Cycle Assessment study.


We recognize this is a first attempt at quantifying a complex and difficult concept. 


We invite stakeholders to share their feedback and perspectives on this work to help us improve for future versions. 


The Circulate Initiative’s PLACES tool is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon. The PLACES tool is intended to help users understand the indicative environmental impacts that can be expected from investing in plastics recycling in emerging markets. The results shown on this page and in the downloadable calculator are based on assumptions drawn from data available at the time of our study (2020). You should independently verify outputs from the model before drawing conclusions or acting on the information given.


The information on this website and the PLACES tool are subject to change without notice.  The PLACES tool is for individual use only and no part of the tool may be copied, shared, or used in any way other than for its intended purpose without The Circulate Initiative’s prior written consent.  All legal rights, including intellectual property rights, regarding the PLACES tool are reserved by The Circulate Initiative.  The Circulate Initiative disclaims all liability and damages arising from your use of the PLACES tool or any information provided thereby, and by using the tool, you accept these terms.