Today, Verra launched the Plastic Waste Reduction Standard (Plastic Standard) which helps companies that have fully maximized efforts to reduce the plastic footprint of their operations to invest in projects that collect and recycle plastic waste. The Plastic Standard was developed by Verra, and was conceptualized and supported by the 3R Initiative (opens in new tab) — of which Verra is a founding member.

The Plastic Standard will drive investment into projects that increase the collection of plastic waste from the environment and/or its recycling. It enables the independent auditing of projects to determine the extent to which they have reduced plastic waste in the environment and/or increased recycling. Plastic Credits are issued based on how much plastic is collected and recycled above a baseline rate (i.e., what would have happened in the absence of the project activity). This “plastic crediting mechanism” provides an efficient and powerful means of financing activities that verifiably reduce plastic in the environment anywhere in the world.

Our new standard is part of an innovative plastic stewardship initiative which establishes the world’s first comprehensive framework for companies to verifiably manage and reduce plastic waste. In addition to the Plastic Standard, the plastic stewardship initiative includes the Guidelines for Corporate Plastic Stewardship (Guidelines) (opens in new tab), which were developed by the 3R Initiative (opens in new tab), South Pole (opens in new tab), Quantis (opens in new tab) and EA. The Guidelines provide best practices for companies to credibly and transparently quantify and report on their plastic footprints, leakage and commitments to reduce plastic waste.

Together, the Plastic Standard and the Guidelines create incentives and opportunities for companies to invest in new or scaled-up collection and recycling projects that reduce plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while helping to improve livelihoods and protect marine ecosystems.

“With less than 10% of the 350 million tonnes of plastic produced each year currently recycled, we face an unprecedented plastic pollution crisis, which must be addressed,” said David Antonioli, Chief Executive Officer of Verra. “If just 10 of the top plastic producers in the world adopted this new plastic stewardship initiative, it would remove more than 1 million tonnes of plastic waste leaked into the environment each year.”

The development of the Plastic Standard was supported by a multi-stakeholder development committee and included three public consultations. Over the course of the consultations we received more than 700 comments from 18 countries. For more information, view our Plastic Program: Governance and Development page.

The Plastic Standard was piloted (opens in new tab) by 24 projects in 18 countries on six continents. These pilot projects were instrumental in identifying and resolving challenges faced by waste collection and recycling activities in applying the Standard.

A Closer Look into a New Plastic Stewardship Initiative: Webinar

Verra held a webinar on the Plastic Waste Reduction Standard and the Guidelines on 25 February, 2021.