Making plastic credits credible: WWF latest paper critiques potential crediting shortfalls

by Mar 25, 2021

Is your company considering or currently using Plastic Credits? If so, WWF’s latest position paper on plastic crediting is a MUST read. The report pre-dates the February 2021 launch of Verra’s Plastic Waste Reduction Standard (Plastic Standard). Therefore, while the lack of a standard has been addressed, other issues remain.

WWF’s non-endorsement of the terms “Plastic Neutral” and “Net Zero” in the plastic space, for example, are  critical topics that lingers. Corporates should understand the basis for these concerns and others made in WWF’s insightful and timely paper.


Summary of WWF Position

“Plastic does not belong in nature.

In order to achieve No Plastic in Nature by 2030, a combination of various coordinated strategies must be pursued. Strategies driven by the private sector must include reducing single use plastic, shifting to sustainable inputs for necessary plastic, improving end-of-life management, designing longer-living products, and extended producer responsibility. These approaches must be paired with government and consumer action including international policy, improvements to waste management, and increased public awareness.

WWF is cautious in regard to plastic crediting because there are not yet clear standards/processes associated with this concept and, depending on how they are developed, crediting mechanisms may enable companies to claim they are taking action without making substantial changes to their business. Business as usual will not solve the global plastic pollution crisis. WWF acknowledges that, if developed appropriately, plastic crediting has the potential to drive investment towards circular systems. 

WWF believes only credible plastic crediting systems that contribute to transformational change should be pursued. Plastic crediting activities may serve as an ADDITIONAL approach to robust plastic waste reduction strategies if a strong and credible standard for crediting exists and is adhered to, prerequisites are defined and met, and strong social and environmental safeguards are upheld. Any claims based on credits must be supported by transparent reporting of the company’s plastic footprint (see Transparent 2020 for an example of comprehensive plastic reporting). WWF does not support the use of the terms “plastic neutral” or “plastic neutrality” as they do not clearly convey true environmental impact.”

For the full article see here.

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