Plastic Recovery Certificates (PRC) aim to improve domestic recycling capacity in G7 Countries by establishing a voluntary market exchange system for waste plastics. The PRC exchange is a platform through which corporations can offset their plastic use and production by purchasing 3rd-party verified plastic offsets from companies that are actively recycling and upcycling end-use plastic wastes locally. PRCs will help develop domestic recycling industries in regions without extended producer responsibility regulations where plastic wastes are exported.
Plastic is pervasive in every component of our lives, but there is increasing concern about the accumulation of waste end-use plastics in the environment. Globally, only 14% of plastics are recycled, with 14% incinerated (harmful chemicals released), 40% landfilled and 32% end up in oceans. In some areas where plastics are collected, they are often landfilled because they are not properly sorted/cleaned or not economical to recycle according to the global commodity prices for resin. Plastics are a clear example of market failure, and there are signals that consumers demand a correction. Customers and shareholders are calling on consumer packaged goods firms (CPGs), retailers, and food companies to manage their plastic wastes, or ban plastics outright. In response, organizations are paying millions of dollars into ineffective collection and sorting programs that don't guarantee plastics are actually recycled. PRCE offers a solution, by working with upcycle technology companies and plastic recycling companies to find the most cost effective approaches to repurpose end-use plastics. PRCE will verify projects using an in-house developed plastic offset protocol, and assign certified offsets. CPG firms will be able to bid on and purchase those offsets and receive reports certifying that end-use plastics were recovered and recycled. This approach will create a market for end-use plastics, offering trickle-down benefits across the plastics supply chain. PRCE is a win-win solution: CPG and plastic-exposed firms will be able to report progress on plastic pollution while helping recycling technology companies who face tough economic barriers. PRCE essentially aims to apply the concepts of emission trading systems to plastic recycling. Emission trading systems are market-tested approaches to reduce emissions and have been used in voluntary and regulatory markets around the world.