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Certification

Plastic Neutral Badge

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Consumers want you to help

them make a difference.

 

This badge represents thousands of products that have taken action against plastic pollution, stopping millions of kilograms worth of land and water contamination, and improving the lives of many. It is carried by products, brands, and companies to visibly communicate that they have achieved Plastic Neutrality in line with the Plastic Neutral Pact.  

 

Our badge represents important aspects in our mission.

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Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard

The Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard is the primary reference to achieving Plastic Neutrality through verified plastic offsets. It describes a framework for the implementation of a credible and verifiable plastic offsetting program.  It covers the processes of Plastic Offsetting and Plastic Crediting. This is the basis for the recognition of Plastic Neutral Certifications granted by Plastic Credit Exchange.

You can read the Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard by

downloading the PDF or through the sections below.

The content is identical in both places.

 

Plastic Footprint Calculator

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Download the Plastic Footprint Calculator and we can help you assess your company's plastic footprint. It's the first step to going Plastic Neutral. 

Calculate your footprint >

 

Definition of Terms

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Aggregators: An individual, a group of individuals, or an organization (government or non-government) who collects post-consumer plastic waste and forwards this to Processors.

Assessment: Process of quantifying the Plastic Footprint of a given entity through a third-party independent auditor, using transparent methods that are consistent for all organizations.

Auditor: A qualified individual or an entity who is tasked to perform an assessment or process review of any Offset Buyers, Aggregators, or Processors.

Awarded Plastic Credit: A plastic credit that is purchased and assigned to an Offset Buyer and registered in the blockchain ledger.

Blockchain: A secure digital database that tracks the information on the activity and status of plastic credits and shares this with public.

Certificate Applicant: An individual, a group of people, or a corporation applying for Certification.

Certification: Refers to either a Plastic-Free, Plastic Neutral, or Plastic Negative Certification.

Ocean-bound Plastic: Post-consumer plastic collected within a 50-kilometer distance from the nearest coastlines, which if not recovered, is expected to leak into the environment.

 

Offset Buyer: An individual, a group of people, or a corporation purchasing plastic credits and/or applying for a plastic neutral or plastic negative certification.

 

Operating Partner: Refers to an Aggregator, Processor, or an entity that covers both aggregation and processing that has been accredited by PCX.

 

Negative Tonnage: Refers to the collection of any plastic waste beyond a current Plastic Footprint, whether that collection is fresh or vintage.

 

Net Plastic Footprint: Refers to the amount of Plastic Footprint when the Plastic Offset volume, which is collected through recycling, co-processing, material and energy recovery, and other reduction methods, is subtracted from the Gross Plastic Footprint.

 

Plastic/s: Any of a group of synthetic or natural organic materials, including resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, casein materials, and proteins.

 

Plastic Credit: Transactable environmental asset representing a unit of weight, typically 1,000 kilograms or 1 metric ton (tonne) of plastic waste from documented and verified plastic offsets and registered in the blockchain ledger.

 

Plastic Credit Retirement: State in which a Plastic Credit may no longer be used because it has already been accounted for in a claim.

 

Plastic-Free: State in which an individual, company, brand, product, or service that has refrained from using plastic.

 

Plastic Footprint: Amount of plastic emitted into the environment as a result of the activities of a business based on a defined scope. This includes plastics emitted through manufacture, distribution, promotion, and sale of its product or service, as well as general and administrative functions. This represents an inventory, in units of mass (kg or metric ton) of plastic waste. Also referred to as Gross Plastic Footprint.

 

Plastic Neutral: State which is achieved when at least 100% of the net plastic footprint associated with a company, brand, product, or service is reduced to zero through Plastic Offsetting, recycling, co-processing, material and energy recovery, and other reduction methods for a defined period.

 

Plastic Negative: State which is achieved when at least 200% of the net plastic footprint associated with a company, brand, product, or service is processed through Plastic Offsetting, recycling, co-processing, material and energy recovery, and other reduction methods for a defined period.

 

Plastic Offsetting: Act of recovering and processing post-consumer plastic waste to compensate for an established plastic footprint for a defined period.

 

Plastic Reduction Goal: Refers to an individual or organization’s commitment to achieve any of Plastic-Free, Plastic Neutral, or Plastic Negative status. This takes into account the efforts to reduce plastic usage and replace virgin materials with recycled content whenever possible as well as encourage that all packaging is recyclable with the proper labelling. We see Plastic Offsetting as part of a solution set to take responsibility for the recovery of plastics that might otherwise leak into the environment.

 

Processors: Facility that receives, treats, or converts post-consumer plastic waste into other useful forms through material or energy recovery.

 

Verification: Independent evaluation conducted by any qualified third-party to check that the quality of input data, plastic footprint assessment, or that the use of certification badge is in line with the approach and principles of the Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard.

 

Vintage: Refers to the year the Plastic Offset or Plastic Credit has been processed.

Introduction

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The Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) recognizes the decades-long global challenge of plastic waste. According to a report conducted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), we produce 300 million metric tons (tonnes) of plastic waste every year.1 Only 9% of all plastic waste that has ever been produced has been recycled; 12% has been incinerated, while the remaining 79% has accumulated in landfills or the environment—where they can persist for centuries. By the year 2040, the annual flow of plastics going into the ocean could triple, reaching up to 29 million metric tons (tonnes) per year. 2

 

PCX is a non-profit organization that believes in sustainable solutions to meet this challenge. We view plastic offsetting, not as an excuse to pollute, but rather as part of a solution set for businesses and individuals to take responsibility for the plastic waste that threatens our environment today. All stakeholders must do their best to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics wherever and whenever possible.

 

The Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard (PPRS), along with our processes, constantly evolves to reflect the latest environmentally responsible solutions, government policies, and industry best practices in all the markets we operate in. PCX was the first to publish a standard on plastic waste management as early as March 2020. PCX has since conducted various reviews and revisions that have led to this current version effective July 2021.

Objectives

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The objective of the PPRS is to provide a framework for the implementation of a credible and verifiable plastic-free and offsetting program. PCX, through its network of Partners, provides a safe system of physically collecting, transporting, and processing plastic waste to prevent leakage into nature. Through a fully audited process, PCX translates the weight of Plastic Offsets to the equivalent Plastic Credits registered in our blockchain ledger. Any individual or corporation may purchase Plastic Credits as a means to take responsibility for their plastic waste and achieving their sustainability goals.

Scope

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PPRS covers the processes of securing for companies or organizations who seek to achieve any of the following Plastic Reduction Goals: Plastic-Free, Plastic Neutral, or Plastic Negative.

 

For Plastic Neutral and Plastic Negative applications, PCX awards a Certification to an Offset Buyer that purchases Plastic Credits equivalent to at least the Offset Buyer's Plastic Footprint. The Plastic Credits should be of the same type of plastic or a type that is deemed more harmful for the environment.

 

Materials. Plastic offsetting as defined in the PPRS covers a wide range of plastics that go into the waste stream. These include:

1. All materials made of the seven types of plastics: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene or Expanded Polystyrene (PS or EPS) and Other Plastics (O).

2. Any of a group of synthetic or natural organic materials, including resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, casein materials, and proteins which include, among others, acrylic or poly methyl methacrylate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamide (nylon), polycarbonate and polylactic acid.

3. Composite materials containing the plastics and material types listed above, such as multilayer paper boards with polyethylene and/or aluminum layers.

 

Aggregation. This includes in scope all informal waste collection activities, community waste collection from the environment, and government or private, and government or private-led waste collection activities. PCX provides operational guides in the conduct of aggregation across industries. This is provided as Appendix 01. Operational Procedure Manual for Aggregating Communities and Institutional Partners.

 

Processing. As the optimal recovery option for plastic waste depends on many prevailing circumstances, life-cycle analysis should be applied to decide, depending on the type and composition of the plastic waste and the capabilities and regulations in the respective countries, which options are environmentally more favorable and sustainable. In the case of commingled or composite plastic waste, energy recovery and some feedstock recycling processes will sometimes be the optimal choice. Plastic waste may be managed utilizing a hierarchical framework comprising life-cycle strategies for prevention and minimization of waste and of its potentially adverse environmental impact as described in ISO 17422. In general, plastic waste processing technologies utilized by PCX partners can be divided into the following classes:

1. Material recovery (mechanical recycling, chemical or feedstock recycling, and biological or organic recycling).

2. Energy recovery in the form of heat, steam, or electricity generation using plastics waste as substitutes for primary fossil fuel resources.

3. Other emerging technologies which are qualified based on PCX’s requirements.

PCX provides guidelines for the accreditation of prospective partners. This is provided in Appendix 02. Accreditation of Operations Partners.

Auditors. PCX works with in-house and industry partners who provide assurances consistent with the requirements of the PPRS, local regulations, and international best practices. PCX reserves the right to qualify Audit Partners who have passed PCX’s due diligence. Audit Partners also provide a level of verification in the blockchain ledger.

Guiding Principles

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The Certification is a sustainability-driven commitment and action taken by an individual or business, voluntarily or through compliance, to reduce or compensate for the environmental impact of its Plastic Footprint. PPRS is guided by the following principles:

Conservativeness - Businesses making claims of Certification status agree to exert best efforts to be as accurate as possible. In cases where this is not feasible, businesses agree to undertake conservative approaches and to disclosing the methodologies that underlie their claims.

Integrity and Consistency - PCX operates in accordance with third-party verification to ensure that claims of Certification status are applied consistently and appropriately across the relevant and intended users of the PPRS.

Continuous Improvement - PCX is committed to regularly review and refine the PPRS for the benefit of the environment and the stakeholders. PCX benchmarks the processes and results to make sure that operations are harmonized and compliant with international industry best practices.

 

Transparency and Traceability - PCX shall disclose relevant and sufficient information of stakeholder interest in the blockchain ledger, making every effort to ensure easy, prompt, and practical access to the appropriate information. The registry is protected by our blockchain ledger – a robust and tamper-proof way to manage every Plastic Credit processed. Once the Plastic Credit is registered on our blockchain ledger, it is considered retired and can no longer be reassigned.

Plastic Crediting Process (For Offset Partners & Operating Partners) 

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1. Purchasing Plastic Offsets. Offset Buyers may purchase or commit to purchase Plastic Offsets for a defined period.

2. Activate Ecosystems - Pledges from the Offset Buyers provide resources that allow PCX to engage the aggregation, transport, and the valorizing of the post-consumer plastics from various sources. PCX accredits Operating Partners to ensure that operations are compliant with the requirements of the PPRS. PCX continuously collects plastic offsets from plastic waste recovered and processed through accredited partners.

3. Verification of Offsets and Registry of Credits – Plastic Credits will be based on the actual plastic waste recovered and processed by PCX through accredited Aggregators and Processors. These quantities shall be supported by documentation submitted to PCX and shall be incorporated as attachments in the Plastic Credit Certificates. These supporting documents may include but are not limited to the following:

a. Certificate of processing

b. Certificate of pre-treatment

c. Delivery receipts

d. Calibration records

These documentations ensure that each metric ton is traceable and auditable and avoids any issues on double counting or leakage. Verified plastic offsets shall remain valid for one (1) year from the date of entry or until these are purchased as Plastic Credits by an Offset Buyer.

 

4. Awarding of Plastic Credit Certificate. PCX shall release a Plastic Credit Certificate to the Offset Buyer with the corresponding supporting documents. These Certificates and the documents will be published on the blockchain ledger and be accessible to the public.

5. Sustaining Ecosystems – Aside from the direct recovery activities, PCX allocates a percentage of the funds to the following advocacies:

a. Educational activities that promote Behavior Change towards a more Circular Economy.

b. Investments in Waste Management Infrastructure for Underserved Communities.

c. Addressing the clean-up of historical plastic waste in the environment.

Plastic Neutral Certification Process (for Offset Partners)

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The PPRS is designed to encourage individuals and businesses to do their best to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics wherever and whenever possible. PCX provides options for more individuals and businesses to participate while maintaining a high-degree of accountability and transparency. For businesses, the Plastic Reduction Goals may be achieved at different levels of operations:

Product. Corresponds to a single Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) of brand.

Brand. Corresponds to all SKUs under the same brand category.

Company. Corresponds to all parts of the company’s operations, including the plastic inputs for producing the products and services, logistics, advertising, promotion and selling, as well as general administrative activities.

Businesses seeking any kind of Certification shall undertake the following process:

1. Define Scope. It is critical that a good baseline measurement is achieved, and the first step is to define the coverage of the operations that will be matched with corresponding Plastic Credits, whether at Product, Brand or Company level. In addition to the level of operations, the Certificate Applicant must specify the coverage period where the Plastic Footprint will be calculated from documentation and other pertinent records. The Certificate Applicant must be clearly defined by name with a description of relevant legal and geographical boundaries.

2. Measure and Verify Plastic Footprint. Once the Certificate Applicant has defined the scope of its desired level of Certification, the Certificate Applicant must compute its Plastic Footprint. PCX facilitates this computation by assisting the Certificate Applicant with the use of the PCX Plastic Footprint Calculator (Appendix 04).

a. For Certificate Applicants applying for Plastic-Free Certification, there is no need to secure Plastic Credits but the Certificate Applicant shall submit an audit verification that the Plastic Footprint based on the defined scope and period is zero.

b. For Certificate Applicants applying for a Plastic Neutral or Plastic Negative Certification and with more than 100 metric tons of annualized Plastic Footprint this requires engagement of an accredited third-party auditor at the expense of the Certificate Applicant. Further guidelines are provided in Appendix 05.1.

c. For Certificate Applicants applying for a Plastic Neutral or Plastic Negative Certification and with less than or equal to 100 metric tons of annualized Plastic Footprint, specific guidelines are provided in Appendix 05.2.

Depending on the level of Certification applied for, the Certificate Applicant must submit the pertinent documents that supports their Plastic Footprint calculation. The Certificate Applicant must provide PCX with a true and certified copy of the pertinent documents and audit report.

3. Secure Plastic Credits (For Plastic Neutral and Plastic Negative Certification only). An Offset Buyer commits to cover its Plastic Footprint for a minimum period of 3 consecutive years.

 

Year 1: Actual Plastic Footprint for the past year

Year 2: Plastic Footprint the current year

Year 3: Plastic Footprint forecasted for the succeeding year

The Offset Buyer may specify any month as the start of the defined period. Reconciliation starting in Year 2 will be conducted annually in order to keep the Certification status valid. Any variation from the projected Plastic Footprint shall be settled within two months from the verification of the actual Plastic Footprint.

The purchased Plastic Credits, Certification status, and supporting documentation shall be published for public transparency on the blockchain ledger.

Plastic-Free Partners do not need to secure Plastic Credits but shall submit an audit verification that the Plastic Footprint based on the defined scope and period is zero.

4. Receive Certification. PCX notifies the Certificate Applicant of the successful application, upon review of the pertinent documents submitted as well as the recommendation granted by the auditor. The official status begins when the Certificate Applicant is awarded the Certificate by PCX. Supporting information and documents such as Plastic Footprint Assessment and Plastic Credits will be publicly disclosed on our blockchain ledger.

5. Communicate. The Certificate Applicant is granted the rights to the use of the relevant Certification badge. PCX provides the assets and guidance for applying the Certification Badge on its packaging and communications. All communications relating to one's Certification must be factually based, clear, and transparent. The Certification Badge may be prominently featured on their packaging to signify the bold action and commitment towards their Plastic Reduction Goals. The use of the Certification Badge must conform to the usage terms laid out on Appendix 05. It is the successful Certificate Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their claims are compliant with any local guidelines.

Failure to comply with the PPRS and the agreements with PCX, including use of badges, may result in suspension or termination of the Certificate Applicant’s Certification status and the corresponding legal remedies will apply.

Safeguard Systems (For Operating Partners)

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Environmental Impact and Pollution Prevention. The Operating Partner’s compliance to the PPRS provides assurances that in the process of reducing plastic waste, there shall be no detrimental impacts to the other aspects of the environment. This includes but is not limited to, pollution prevention and abatement, biodiversity and marine conservation, management of natural resources, and the welfare of the people. Potential impacts and risk assessments shall be conducted by the Operating Partner in all aspects of their operations and mitigation measures will be put in place when these are deemed necessary.

 

Occupational Health and Safety. The Operating Partner shall consider the health and safety of the people and the properties involved in all stages of their operations. The risks inherent to the activities shall be identified and addressed prior to conducting activities from aggregation up to processing. Necessary measures shall be implemented by the Operating Partner to avoid accidents, injuries, and diseases arising from or associated with these activities which includes emergency response and preparedness.

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion. The Operating Partner shall not implement any specific activities that constitute any form of discrimination or harassment. The Operating Partner shall promote and observe best practices on gender equality and inclusivity.

 

Feedback and Grievance Mechanism. Consultations and feedback mechanisms shall be put in place and will be available throughout the implementation of the necessary activities. PCX takes into consideration the views of all the stakeholders throughout its activities until the registration of Plastic Credits in our blockchain ledger.

 

Prohibited Materials and Activities. Operating Partners shall not engage the following:

a. Activities involving all forms of forced or child labor.

b. Activities deemed illegal under international conventions and host country regulations; and

c. Activities involving toxic and hazardous materials including weapons, munitions, and radioactive materials

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