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Plastic Credit: A Strategy to Encounter Waste Pollution

Plastic Credit: A Strategy to Encounter Waste Pollution

A Portrait of Citarum River Conservationists Sorting Plastic Bottle Waste (Faqih Mauludin / Greeneration Foundation)
A Portrait of Citarum River Conservationists Sorting Plastic Bottle Waste (Faqih Mauludin / Greeneration Foundation)

Daftar Isi

Plastic credit is allegedly a solution to reduce plastic waste. Besides reducing waste, it fuels the waste recycling industry sector. However, it needs strict supervision to oversee this solution.

Have you ever heard about plastic credit? Another innovation in tackling plastic pollution problems, this solution is considered as a new potential to develop the waste recycling industry through investment in recycling plastic waste. How does this business model play a role? Catch up here!

Plastic Credit

Plastic Chopping in PT KIMONG (TOTABUAN.co)
Plastic Chopping in PT KIMONG (TOTABUAN.co)

Plastic pollution still haunts the world, especially Indonesia. Our nation produced 11.6 million tonnes of plastic in 2021. This gigantic amount of waste is exacerbated by our low rate of waste recycling. As a result, the unrecycled waste piled up in the environment. 

Therefore, plastic credit scheme appears to unravel the cycle of plastic problems. In concept, this scheme is similar to the carbon credit system. Plastic credit works by binding the producers to fund the plastic recycling industry or project, to compensate for the loss caused by the plastic products they produce. Plastic credit was initiated by Verra as a non-profit organization. They supervise the standardization of plastic credit projects and run plastic waste management programs.

Plastic credit consists of two different categories, those are Waste Collection Credit and Waste Recycling Credit. The industry players have to collect or recycle 1 metric tonnes of plastic waste. They are required to collect and recycle waste using sustainable and responsible methods.

The Benefits of Plastic Credit

Plastic Bottle Recycling Factory PT. Veolia Services Indonesia (Siar.com)
Plastic Bottle Recycling Factory PT. Veolia Services Indonesia (Siar.com)

This system brings two essential benefits such as reducing plastic pollution and developing the recycling industry. This is an option for industrial players, who are not capable of managing their plastic product waste, to collaborate with the recycling industry. Indeed, they must pay for recycling costs to run the operation of waste collecting and recycling. The costs will be the capital for the recycling industry to run waste management operations. As a result, the recycling industry can maintain the sustainability of its business development.

Plastic Credit Implementation Challenges 

Pile of Plastic Packaging Garbage in the Citarum River (Aviaska Wienda S / Greeneration Foundation)
Pile of Plastic Packaging Garbage in the Citarum River (Aviaska Wienda S / Greeneration Foundation)

There are some challenges in implementing plastic credit, one of those being the lack of guarantee and monitoring in the plastic waste management implementation. The industry that purchases the credit will receive a certificate that declares their contribution in reducing plastic waste. Similar to a carbon credit, manipulation possibly happened in the absence of strict and credible supervision in the process. 

Moreover, we have to prevent the industrial players from using this solution as an excuse to produce more plastic. Therefore, the credits carry a huge responsibility to reduce plastic production. 

Plastic Credit in Indonesia

Waste Sorting in Citarum River (Faqih Mauludin / Greeneration Foundation)
Waste Sorting in Citarum River (Faqih Mauludin / Greeneration Foundation)

Indonesia’s plastic waste problem is still uncontrollable, so the government welcomes this solution. Rosa Vivien Ratnawati as the Director General of Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Substances Management, from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Indonesian: KLHK), stated that we need to prepare comprehensive regulations, standards, and requirements for plastic credit to encounter plastic problem in Indonesia.

Of course, the implementation of the plastic credit system in Indonesia is an innovation worth trying. However, we have to pay attention that Indonesia also needs to develop the concrete ecosystem and market for this scheme. Furthermore, the capability of the local recycling industry must be considered first. 

There’s a thing that we need to anticipate, which is the condition of plastic waste in Indonesia. Plastic waste is still mixed with other kinds of waste, so it’s hard to recycle. The local recycling industry is forced to import plastic waste. In 2020, we imported more than 138.000 tonnes of plastic waste.

This new scheme has the potential to increase plastic imports in Indonesia. However, with the correct system, this scheme can also be a solution to reduce plastic waste in our country. But before that, we’ll have to fix the waste management system first.

Greeneration Foundation fights for Indonesia climate crisis anticipation and other environmental problems. The plastic waste problem is one of the issues we are fighting for. We develop Green Fund Digital Philanthropy as part of our mission to implement sustainable consumption and production in alleviating the entire waste problem.

Reference

Kredit Plastik untuk Mengurangi Sampah. (2022, March 2). Forest Digest. Retrieved November 11, 2022.

Plastic Program Details. (n.d.). Verra. Retrieved November 11, 2022.

Ternyata Indonesia Masih Impor Sampah Plastik, Ini Negara Pemasok Terbanyak. (2022, April 13). Databoks. Retrieved November 11, 2022.

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