FAQs

WE PUT YOUR CREDITS TO WORK.

Cleaning up plastic waste is an incredibly complex undertaking, and involves many different partners and processes. Here’s a rundown of how we spend your credits for good.

What does poverty have to do with the plastic pollution problem?

As with climate change, it is the poorest and most marginalized who are most severely affected by the plastic pollution crisis. The issue is critical in developing countries, where more than two billion people lack adequate waste management infrastructure, leading to food insecurity, increased illness, unnecessary deaths, greater harm to livelihoods, and further destruction to our environment.

Solving the plastic problem won’t automatically alleviate poverty, but we cannot solve either one without solutions that consider the welfare of the planet and every person. Thus, when we fight for climate justice, we must also demand social justice. We invite you to read further here: UN environment programme’s report, NEGLECTED: Environmental Justice Impacts of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution

I want to convince my company to go Plastic Neutral – do you have something I can share to help me do this?

Glad you asked! Download this pitch deck and you’ll be ready with what you need to make your case.

How will PCX make its certification meaningful and important to my customers?

We designed a thoughtful Plastic Neutral badge for you to show off on your products and materials! Our new mark is intended to inspire a movement which will unite champions from different sectors to advance a world free from plastic waste. Recognizing there is power in simplicity, we made sure our badge feels familiar, speaks to our story, and is flexible enough for any brand or consumer to make it their own—through communication campaigns, sustainability champions, and our own active engagement with regulators. Our big goal is to make the Plastic Neutral badge not only as ubiquitous as possible, but also to become a symbol for real, lasting environmental and social impact that the public can trust.

How do I know I can trust you guys?

Transparency is foremost among our guiding principles. We are the first non-profit plastic offset platform to release a standard like the Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard for full accountability in reporting plastic footprints and offsets, and awarding certifications. We are committed to faithful stewardship and continuous improvement, so will be updating our standard periodically to reflect developments in industry and government policy and international best practice.

What is PCX’s end goal?

Our vision is Zero Plastic Waste in Nature. In a perfect world, our work would not exist! In the meantime, our goal is for the PCX Plastic Neutral Badge to become a call to action where consumers and brands come together to take a stand for plastic clean-up and reduction for as long as the problem exists.

Who is behind PCX?

We come from different backgrounds, including environmental research, management, and policy, united by a common vision of a plastic waste-free world. Get to know the team here!

What does it mean when you see the Plastic Neutral Certified label?

The Plastic Neutral Badge assures customers that the product bearing the label has been certified in compliance with the Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard. PCX encourages all plastic neutral partners to display the badge on their products, services, and marketing channels, to inspire more companies to take meaningful action today.

I have questions about PCX – how can I get in touch?

Let’s talk! Shoot us an email at info@plasticcreditexchange.com or through the form on our Contact Page.

Why is PCX a non-profit organization?

From the very beginning, PCX has been a non-profit organization so that we prioritize the interests of people and planet above all else. We direct all our efforts towards ensuring the welfare of our communities and protection of our environment, rather than any commercial interests of partner companies.

How much does it cost to get certified?

We do not charge for certification. You simply need to have an accredited 3rd party auditor verify your plastic footprint and offset at least that amount for the past year, plus 2 years moving forward, in order to be certified by PCX.

Why should I offset from a country outside of my own?

The plastic crisis is a global problem that needs a global solution. Plastic waste touches nearly every corner of the world but developing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia have become the “world’s dumping ground” and thus lie at the epicenter of the problem. If we want to get serious about ending the crisis, we need everyone on board, and we empower companies from anywhere around the globe to do just that by providing geographically agnostic offsetting solutions.

Will you be providing offsets from more countries?

Our goal is to build a rigorous, ethical, environmentally-sound marketplace that enables companies to offset plastic waste from anywhere around the world. PCX is hard at work seeking out the best partners globally to help us make plastic offsets available from multiple locations.

Can I get certified from anywhere?

You bet!

What is the difference between a brand and a product?

A product may refer to a single SKU or multiple SKUs which do not complete the whole product line. A brand covers all the products within the portfolio of the company’s trademark.

What are the levels of your certifications?

We can support you wherever you are in your sustainability journey. Currently we offer the following Certifications: Plastic Neutral Product. Offset your plastic footprint for all products under a single product category. Plastic Neutral Brand. Offset your plastic footprint for all products of all categories under a specific brand. Plastic Neutral Company. Offset your plastic footprint for all parts of your company’s operations, including the plastic inputs to products and services, logistics, advertising, promotion and selling, as well as general administrative activities of a company.

Once I get certified, what happens?

Celebrate! Show the world you’ve joined a movement committed to ending the plastic waste crisis by displaying your new Plastic Neutral Badge on products and marketing channels! This will inspire other companies to take bold action to streamline their plastic usage and offset whatever is left so that we ensure a healthier planet.

Can offsetting alone be the answer to our sustainability targets?

Offsetting is not an excuse to pollute. We recommend all organizations find a solution set that best suits their operations which includes a combination of reducing plastic wherever they can in their supply chains, reusing and recycling whenever possible, and only that which is left as essential plastic should be offset so that we can ensure it doesn't wind up in nature.

How much of my plastic footprint do I need to offset to become plastic neutral?

To become Plastic Neutral Certified you must purchase plastic credits equivalent to your annual plastic footprint for the previous year, and commit to offsetting an additional 2 years minimum with PCX.

Do I need to have my plastic footprint audited?

If you have an annual footprint of more than 100MT you must have your plastic footprint audited by a third party - and we can help you with that. If your footprint falls below 100MT, you simply need to complete the plastic footprint calculator and sign an attestation to submit your application.

How can I estimate my plastic footprint?

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

Is there a company size required for certification?

There isn’t, though it certainly will help if your company has been operating for at least a year.

We don’t make a physical product – am I already plastic neutral?

You may still have a plastic footprint. All the plastic you use in your marketing, logistics, advertising, and administrative activities count towards your plastic footprint. Depending on the level of certification you choose, you’ll need to offset these to become plastic neutral.

What does plastic neutral mean?

Plastic neutrality is achieved when the plastic footprint of a brand is reduced to zero for a defined period. It means having a balance between producing plastic and cleaning it up from the environment or at the source.

How much does offsetting plastic cost?

Get an estimate through this link.

How do I know if plastic credits work?

All plastic credits issued by PCX have undergone reputable third-party verification. This means we ensure that post-consumer plastic is physically diverted away from nature through our vetted aggregators and processors. We measure our impact and success versus the achievement of United Nations Sustainability Goals and only recognize offsets that are in compliance with our Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard

Why can’t we get rid of all plastic today?

Cutting out plastic completely is not as easy as people would like to think. The lightweight, durable material continues to make the modern world possible and many things we take for granted depend on it. Food, for instance, has been made safer and less cumbersome to transport, reducing spoilage and food cost—therefore alleviating hunger and climate change. Modern medicine has also greatly benefited from disposable plastic (look no further than the COVID pandemic to see proof of that). What has made plastic the problem it is today is that we never figured out what to do with it once we are done using it—or assigned that responsibility clearly. We need to work hard to reduce wherever we can the use of non-essential plastic, recycle that which is essential, and innovate to find better alternatives to plastic, not only because of the waste it produces but also because it increases the extraction of fossil fuels which heats our planet.

How do plastic credits help fight the plastic pollution crisis?

Plastic credits allocate funding into projects that help solve the plastic pollution crisis. This includes investing in: operations that physically divert plastic waste away from nature; plastic waste collection infrastructure to assist underserved communities; information and education campaigns to drive behavior change and encourage the adoption of a circular economy mindset; and crucially, additional clean-up operations to help chip away at decades’ worth of plastic accumulation beyond a company’s own footprint.

How are plastic offsets generated?

PCX generates plastic offsets by working with partners for the aggregation, transport, treatment, processing and disposal of plastic waste, so that plastic waste is diverted away from nature and fed back into the circular economy.

What is plastic offsetting?

Plastic offsetting is the act of compensating for generating plastic by cleaning up plastic waste so that it doesn’t pollute the environment.

What is a plastic credit? Is it any different from an offset?

They are two sides of the same coin. A plastic credit is a verified plastic offset and each one is equivalent to 1 tonne of plastic waste. When plastic credits are used by companies to balance out their footprints, it’s called offsetting.

Can you tell me more about plastic pollution?

You can learn more about the crisis here: https://www.unep.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/

What is plastic pollution and how does it affect our environment? Why is it important now?

Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) recognizes the decades-long global challenge of plastic pollution, which is the harmful accumulation of plastic waste in the environment. In 2015, researchers estimated that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic had been produced, with an additional 300 million tonnes being added each year, 79% of which is mismanaged. PCX has seen firsthand how this has created problems for the environment, wildlife, and human populations. The Ellen MacArthur foundation warned that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, unless we commit to meaningful change.

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 Partner, Aggregators, or Processors.

Awarded Plastic Credit

A plastic credit purchased and assigned to an Offset Partner 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 the public.

Brand Partner

An individual, a group of people or a corporation purchasing plastic credits and/or applying for a certification.

Claim

A declaration by a company regarding their Plastic-Free / Neutral / Negative status whether through self-declaration or external party certification.

Collection Credit

Refers to the volume of plastic gathered and verified by an Aggregating Partner. This forms part of a Plastic Credit.

Effective Date

Refers to a date where the latest version of the PPRS is in full effect. This is separate from the Publishing Date of the PPRS.

Global Plastic Debt

Total amount of plastic that has been produced and remains present in the environment or in circulation which will need to be cleaned up.

Industry Working Group

Select panel of industry experts invited by PCX for focused group discussions meant to provide consolidated and comprehensive positions regarding the Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard and its implementation.

Net Zero Plastic Waste Certified (previously Plastic Neutral)

Commitment by a brand or company where at least 100% of the net plastic footprint associated with a company, brand, product, or service is reduced to zero through combination of various solutions (including Plastic Offsetting) for a defined period.

Net Negative Plastic Waste Certified (previously Plastic Negative)

Commitment of a brand or company where more than 100% of their historical net plastic footprint (at least the recent ten years as applicable) associated with a brand, product, or service is processed through combination of various solutions (including plastic offsetting) for a defined period.

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, of plastic waste from documented and verified plastic offsets and registered in the blockchain ledger.

Plastic-Free

State in which an individual, company, brand, product, or service has made conscious and verified efforts to refrain from using plastic.

Plastic-Free Partner

An individual, a group of people, or a corporation applying for a plastic-free certification.

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.

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

May refer to a process of being Plastic-Free, Net Zero Plastic Waste (previously Plastic Neutral) Certified, or Net Negative Plastic Waste (previously Plastic Negative) Certified as defined in the PPRS.

PPRS Review Board

A select group of experts with the authority to approve amendments into the PPRS.

Post-consumer Plastic

Plastic waste generated by households or commercial facilities as end-users of the material and does not cover manufacturing or industrial waste.

Project Partner

May refer to Aggregator, Processors or an entity that covers both collection and processing of the post-consumer plastic.

Processors

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

Recycling Credit

Refers to the volume of plastic gathered and verified to be diverted to a recycling process. This forms part of a Plastic Credit.

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.