The Circulate Initiative
Putting the credible in plastic crediting
Updated: May 26, 2022
Authors: Erin Simon, World Wildlife Fund and Ellen Martin, The Circulate Initiative
Plastic crediting has recently emerged as a promising—but not yet proven—way companies can help fix a broken piece of the plastic value chain: waste management.
Conceptually, a plastic credit is a transferable unit that represents a specific quantity of plastic waste. Plastic crediting has developed partly in response to the challenges companies face in managing their post-consumer waste in complex waste management systems. The associated concept of plastic neutrality is a way for companies to claim to “balance” their plastic footprint through credits that pay for the removal of plastic in the environment equivalent to their plastic pollution footprint.
And, while we’re encouraged by the possibility of a low-effort way for many companies to take action on the issue of plastic pollution, we must ensure this action is meaningful.