The Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard (PPRS) version 7 is a module-based governance document published by the Plastic Credit Exchange in the implementation of credible and verifiable plastic credit and certification system. In PPRS version 7, each module can be updated separately in accordance with the PPRS amendment process provided in Module 6. Users are advised to refer to the latest version controlled document available at the PCX website: www.plasticcreditexchange.com.
|Definition of Terms, Table of Abbreviations, and Scope
|Objectives and Guiding Principles, and Safeguards Systems
|Project Partner Accreditation Criteria, Requirements and Process
|Plastic Crediting Process
|Brand Partner Certification Process (Net Zero Plastic Waste and Plastic-Free)
|PPRS Governance – Internal and External Audits, PPRS Review and Amendments, Change Management, Non-Conformities and Grievances
- Technical Guidelines on Environmentally Sound Co-processing of Hazardous Waste in Cement Kilns released by the UN Environment Programme Basel Convention
LIST OF APPENDICES:
Not Applicable for Module 1.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Accreditation: A process undertaken to ensure compliance of a Project Partner to the PPRS and with local regulations.
Aggregators: An individual or an organization (government or non-government) who collects post-consumer plastic waste and forwards this to processors.
Auditor: A qualified individual or entity, tasked to perform an accreditation assessment or process review of a Project Partner, or a Plastic Footprint Assessment for an entity.
Awarded Plastic Credit: A plastic credit purchased by and assigned to a Brand Partner and registered in the blockchain ledger.
Blockchain: A secure digital database that tracks the movements, status and transactions of plastic credits. In the spirit of transparency, the blockchain is publicly available.
Brand Partner: An individual, an organization, or a corporation purchasing plastic credits and/or applying for a certification. The PPRS may also refer to individuals or organizations who are undergoing the process of certification as ‘Brand Partner’. The qualifying word would be ‘Certified’.
Certification: A process undertaken to ensure conformity of a Brand Partner to the PPRS, which is needed prior to external party anchored Claims.
Claim: A declaration by a company regarding their Net Zero Plastic Waste status whether through self-declaration or external party certification.
Collection Credit: Refers to additional volumes of plastic waste collected by a Project Partner and has been directed to a vetted end-of-life destination or energy recovery processing.
Effective Date: Refers to the date when the latest version of the PPRS is in full effect.
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 or recovered.
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.
Landfill Diversion Credit: Refers to specific Collection Credits where plastic waste were collected from or just before it ends up in a mismanaged landfill (supporting informal sector recovery) and re-directs these plastics to an energy recovery processing.
Net Zero Plastic Waste (previously Plastic Neutral): Actualized Commitment by a brand or company when at least 100% of the net plastic footprint associated with a company, brand, or service is reduced to zero through combination of various solutions (including Plastic Offsetting) for a defined period.
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.
Plastic/s: Any of a group of synthetic or natural organic materials, including resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, casein materials, and proteins. Further enumeration is included in the Scope (Module 1).
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 credits shall be comprised by an end-to-end collection and corresponding destination or use of collected feedstock (e.g. how it was used, attestation that the corresponding processing credits are not sold by the processor). Information on the sourcing and destination of the plastic credit shall be made available per transaction. Plastic credits may refer to Collection Credit, Landfill Diversion Credit or Recycling Credit. Plastic credits are intended to fund the development and improvement of better waste management, environmental rehabilitation, and social justice solutions. Plastic credits shall form part of a company’s plastic reduction and recovery plans and are not intended to replace plastic avoidance and reduction initiatives.
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 or has received 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 the 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 Footprint Assessment: Process of quantifying the plastic footprint of a given entity. This is performed by a third-party independent auditor, using transparent and consistent methods. This may also be performed by the entity themselves, subject to verification by a third-party independent auditor.
Plastic Insetting: Act of reusing and recycling post-consumer plastic waste by a Brand Partner for their own use, product or packaging.
Plastic Negative: Actualized 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, or service is processed through combination of various solutions (including plastic offsetting) for a defined period. This certification is retained in the PPRS for brands certified in against the PPRS version 6, but is currently on hold in the current version (PPRS version 7).
Plastic Offsetting: Act of recovering and processing post-consumer plastic waste to compensate for an entity’s plastic footprint for a defined period.
Plastic Reduction Goal: May refer to a process of being Plastic-Free or Net Zero Plastic Waste (previously Plastic Neutral) 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. The definition does not cover manufacturing or industrial waste.
Project Partner: May refer to an Aggregator, a Processor or an entity that covers both collection and processing of post-consumer plastic and has passed the accreditation requirements of the PPRS. The PPRS may also refer to organizations or individuals undergoing the accreditation process as ‘Project Partner’. The qualifying word would be ‘Accredited’.
Processors: Facility that receives, treats, or converts post-consumer plastic waste into other useful forms through material or energy recovery.
Recycling Credit: Refers to plastic specifically used as feedstock or raw materials to a mechanical or chemical recovery process where the plastics are reintroduced as a new plastic product and reintroduced into the economy. These processes may refer to recycling, upcycling or downcycling as long as the Project Partner has passed the PPRS accreditation requirements.
Used Beverage Carton Credits: These refer to the plastic credits assigned to Used Beverage Cartons (UBC).
Used Tire Credits: These refer to the plastic credits assigned to Used Tires.
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.
PPRS covers the processes of accreditation of Project Partners, Plastic crediting, and the certification of Brand Partners as Plastic-Free or Net Zero Plastic Waste.
Types of Plastic Credits:
Plastic Credits (Offsetting) In order to best represent the sources and destination of the post-consumer plastic credits generated and awarded to the Brand Partner. PCX introduces the following categories of plastic credits:
- Collection Credits. These credits refer to additional volumes of plastic waste collected by a Project Partner and has been directed to a vetted end-of-life destination or energy recovery processing.
- Landfill Diversion Credits. These are specific Collection Credits where plastic waste were collected from or just before it ends up in a mismanaged landfill (supporting informal sector recovery) and re-directs these plastics to an energy recovery processing.
- Recycling Credits. These credits refer to plastic specifically used as feedstock or raw materials to a mechanical or chemical recovery process where the plastics are reintroduced as a new plastic product and reintroduced into the economy. These processes may refer to recycling, upcycling or downcycling as long as the Project Partner has passed the PPRS accreditation requirements.
Plastic Credits (Avoidance)
Earlier versions of the PPRS covers the offsetting of post-consumer plastic which has already entered circulation. However, avoidance of plastic use is a crucial part in the fight against plastic pollution. It is recognized that many projects are built towards total avoidance of the use of plastic by building infrastructure and systems such as refilling stations. These systems are heavily operations-based, and the continued use of these systems would need support to maintain the quality of services.
Thus, PPRS introduces the world’s first Plastic Avoidance Credit in addition to the existing Plastic Offsetting Credits. Plastic Avoidance Credits support the operations of projects which provide opt-out options of the use of plastics in purchasing product or conduct of services. These Plastic Avoidance Credits are awarded for the equivalent weight of packaging that would have been used if not for the refilling system.
Plastic Avoidance Credits shall also be in units of metric tons. Unlike Plastic Offsetting Credits which are based on actual collected and processed post-consumer plastic, Plastic Avoidance Credits shall be calculated directly from the project’s direct output. For example, the Plastic Avoidance Credit from a Water Refilling Station shall be calculated directly from the total volume of water delivered to the market based on the most conservative plastic packaging material. The said Plastic Avoidance Credit shall be based on the weight of the corresponding packaging likes PET plastic bottles that would otherwise have been used from the delivery of the same volume (“Plastic Avoidance Conversion Factor”). The Plastic Avoidance Conversion Factor shall be identified from the country’s standard packaging specifications and agreed at the Accreditation Stage of the project itself.
Plastic Avoidance Credit shall only be available and valid while the source project is still operational.
Plastic offsetting as defined in the PPRS covers a wide range of plastics that go into the waste stream. These include:
- 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).
- 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.
- Composite materials containing the plastics and material types listed above, such as multilayer paper boards with polyethylene and/or aluminum layers.
Multi-component materials such as tires and UBC (used beverage cartons) can be more specifically referred to as “Used Tires Credit” or “UBC Credits” to further specify that the plastic credits are sourced from these post-consumer materials collected.
Plastic Credit Generating Activities (Accreditation):
Aggregation. This includes in scope all informal waste collection activities, community waste collection from the environment, and government or private-led waste collection activities. PCX provides operational guidance in the conduct of aggregation across industries.
Landfill Destination. Plastic waste directed to properly managed sanitary or engineered landfills may be considered as viable end-of-life destination when the specific facility has passed international standards on design and operations (e.g. International Finance Corporation’s Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines for Waste Management Facilities). Landfills shall be vetted at the accreditation phase to ensure that these are compliant with the requirements of the PPRS, relevant local regulations and international standards , and to ensure that the plastics or other contaminants produced by landfilling operations, will not leak into nature.
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 represent 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:
- Material recovery (mechanical recycling, chemical or feedstock recycling, and biological or organic recycling).
- Energy recovery in the form of heat, steam, or electricity generation using plastics waste as substitutes for primary fossil fuel resources.
- Other Best Available Technologies (BAT) that have undergone and passed assessments from reputable organizations, which are subject to PCX’s review and qualification under the PPRS.
PPRS provides guidance to ensure that our Project Partners abide by local and international environmental and social requirements for their respective process. For the example of co-processing plants, the PPRS aligns the requirements of the Technical Guidelines on Environmentally Sound Co-processing of Hazardous Waste in Cement Kilns released by the UN Environment Programme Basel Convention. Similar references will be used based on the type of process covering environmental, and social safeguard systems.
PPRS aligns with the definition of the Asian Development Bank that “incineration” should be distinguished with modern treatment technology that allows for energy or material recovery. The former refers to a process that is done means solely for disposal with no mitigation measures in place while the latter is conducted as a means to recover energy or materials and should have the appropriate technologies to mitigate adverse impact to the environment.
Brand Partners Certification:
PPRS covers the processes of certifying brands or organizations to be Plastic-Free, Net Zero Plastic Waste (formerly Plastic Neutral) or through directly securing Plastic Credits. For Net Zero Plastic Waste (formerly Plastic Neutral) applications, PCX awards certification to a Brand Partner that purchases Plastic Credits equivalent to the Brand Partner’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.
Company. The scope of the certification will cover all parts of the company’s operations, including the plastic inputs to for the manufacturing of its products and the delivery of its services, logistics and transportation, advertising/ marketing, promotion and sales, as well as general and administrative services.
Brand. The scope of the certification will be limited to the products under a specific brand.
Events. The scope of the certification will cover all activities under a specific event, including mobilization and demobilization activities.
 Asian Development Bank’s Waste-to-Energy in the Face of Circular Economy Best Practice Handbook published December 2020 https://www.adb.org/publications/waste-to-energy-age-circular-economy-handbook