Our Certification Process

How we certify.

A plastic neutral world is only possible when we’re all accountable. That’s where our certification process comes in.

These brands walk the talk.

See full registry

We’re ready when you are.

Join us and our partners in the collective fight to eliminate and reduce plastic waste in the world.

Take action

All the certification details.

We’ve included an easy way to find everything you need to know related to our Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard.

1

Introduction

2

Objectives

3

Scope

4

Guiding Principles

5

Plastic Crediting Process

6

Certification Process

7

Safeguard Systems

1

Introduction

01: Introduction

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. 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. 

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.

2

Objectives

02: Objectives

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.

3

Scope

03: Scope

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 Appendix01. 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.

4

Guiding Principles

04: Guiding Principles

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.

5

Plastic Crediting Process

05: Plastic Crediting Process

  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:
    undefinedundefinedundefinedundefined
    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.
6

Certification Process

06: Certification Process

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 seekingany 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).
    undefinedundefinedundefinedundefined
  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.

7

Safeguard Systems

07: Safeguard Systems

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.

LET’S MAKE A PACT.

When you sign the Plastic Neutral Pact, you’ve officially committed to Plastic Neutrality. Aligned with our Plastic Pollution Reduction Standard, it provides the framework for a credible and verifiable plastic offset and credit program.

Download Standard PDF