top of page
Heading (6).png

MODULE 2: OBJECTIVES, PRINCIPLES, AND SAFEGUARDS

Reference Documents:

 

1. International Finance Corporation (IFC) (2012). Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.

2. Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2009). Safeguard Policy Statement.

3. World Bank (2016). Environmental and Social Framework.

4. WWF (2021). WWF Position: Plastic Crediting and Plastic Neutrality

5. International Labor Organization (various). ILO Standards.

OBJECTIVES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

PCX Solutions addresses the legacy and growing amount of plastic waste entering our environment today through solution sets, which include plastic credits and working with organizations on their plastic reduction and responsibility strategies. We encourage the elimination of all unnecessary and avoidable plastics, the reduction of any material use where possible, the switch to recyclable materials, the use of recycled content, and the support of circular business models and responsible management of any remaining plastic so that it doesn’t end up in nature.

 

The objective of the PPRS is to provide a framework for the implementation of a credible and verifiable plastic crediting program. PCX Solutions, through its network of partners, provides a secure and transparent system of physically collecting, transporting, and processing plastic waste to address leakage into the environment. Through a fully audited process, PCX Solutions translates the weight of collected, transported, and processed post-consumer plastics waste into the equivalent plastic credits. All issuances and retirements of PPRS Plastic Credits are recorded in the PPRS Registry. Any individual or organization may purchase plastic credits as a means to take responsibility for plastic waste and in part to achieve goals for plastic pollution reduction. 

 

PCX Solutions strongly emphasizes that the concept of plastic credits is not an excuse for organizations to abandon the reduction and avoidance of plastics used in their products and services, including their supply chain. PPRS is rooted in plastic pollution reduction by curbing the flow of plastics into nature while better means of packaging and recycling are being developed. Plastic credits may form part of the organization’s wider strategy, and plastic credits may eventually diminish as more sustainable materials and technologies emerge.

     

The PPRS is guided by the following principles:     

 

a. Conservativeness: All claims should be validated and verifiable and should be as accurate as possible. In cases where there is doubt, organizations agree to undertake the more conservative approach and to disclose the methodologies that underlie their claim.

b. Integrity and Consistency: PCX Solutions operates in accordance with third-party validation and verification bodies to ensure that claims are applied consistently and appropriately across relevant and intended users of the PPRS. Third-party validation and verification is also required to ensure that Project Partners are consistently assessed in accordance with the PPRS, and all project information and data are accurate and truthful. All delivered impacts shall be verified by a third-party auditor prior to the issuance, sale, and subsequent retirement of plastic credits.

c. Transparency and Traceability: PCX Solutions shall disclose relevant and sufficient information of stakeholder interest to the public, making every effort to ensure easy, prompt, and practical access to the appropriate information. Plastic Credit Certifications and Project Registrations awarded by PCX Solutions shall have sufficient and verified documentation and evidence.

d. Additionality: PCX Solutions prioritizes operations in communities where there is high mismanagement of plastic waste.

In January 2021, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) published its position on plastic crediting and plastic neutrality and defines additionality as an “activity for which the credit is given would not have occurred in the absence of the crediting mechanism but instead clearly occurred in response to (and after the development) of a crediting mechanism."[20]

 

A baseline needs to be determined to ensure that any socio-economic benefits and volumes claimed for plastic credits are incremental benefits to the status quo. Projects should determine and present an appropriate regional baseline, which will be assessed by the VVBs during the PPRS conformity assessment. These regionally appropriate baselines may come from public and published sources and may refer to either the national or sub-national level, with preference to more localized data and information, as available. Benefits brought about by the Project (i.e. above the regional baseline, in terms of environmental and socio-economic aspects), shall be considered as additional and are the basis of a Project qualifying for the PPRS, even if higher volumes are not collected. The realization of the socio-economic benefits claimed by a Project shall also be validated by the VVB in its assessment.

 

The regional baseline shall be reviewed at least once every five years, depending on availability of updated public sources, and shall be considered in the re-assessment of the Project.

 

e. Policy Interactions: The PPRS is aligned with policy mechanisms such as the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). In cases where there is an existing national policy for plastic credits and the generation and issuance of plastic credits, the users of this standard should follow the more stringent requirement between the applicable EPR Policy and the PPRS, if there is some variance between the two—i.e. EPR policies may not require additionality in the same way this standard requires. Projects that wish to generate PPRS Plastic Credits are required to demonstrate their additionality[21].

 

f. Continuous Improvement: PCX Solutions is committed to regularly reviewing and refining the PPRS for the benefit of the environment and the stakeholders. PCX Solutions benchmarks the processes and results to make sure that operations are harmonized and compliant with international industry best practices. PCX Solutions is open to feedback from the users of the PPRS and relevant inputs will be reviewed, addressed, and, when deemed reasonable, incorporated into the standard following the PCX Solutions amendment process. Feedback for PPRS may be submitted through email - pprs@pcxsolutions.org.

 

PCX Solutions actively works with international organizations and established Industry Working Groups to consolidate language, definitions, and positions to drive further credibility and adoption of the PPRS.

The PPRS aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This is illustrated as follows:

#

1

UN Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty -  End poverty in all its forms everywhere

3

Good Health and Well-Being -  Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

5

Gender Equality -  Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

6

Clean Water and Sanitation -  Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

8

Decent Work and Economic GrowthPromote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

11

Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesMake cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

12

Responsible Consumption and ProductionEnsure sustainable consumption and production patterns

13

Climate ActionTake urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

14

Life Below WaterConserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development

15

Life on LandProtect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss

PPRS

The PPRS includes socio-economic benefits such as incremental income to communities and vulnerable groups in the consideration of additionality.

The PPRS provides a framework for the implementation of solutions towards the reduction or minimization of plastic pollution, affecting the health of people, communities, and future generations.

The PPRS includes gender equality and anti-discriminatory policies in its safeguards.

The PPRS provides a framework for the implementation of solutions towards the goal of no plastic ending up in the natural world, including in the marine environment and connected waterbodies.

The PPRS includes social inclusion in its safeguards and includes the provision of incremental socio-economic benefits to workers and communities in the determination of qualitative additionality.

The PPRS provides a framework for the implementation of solutions towards the abatement and reduction of plastic pollution, affecting health, social justice and economic stability.

The PPRS helps companies and brands to take responsibility for their plastic footprint and provides guidance on communicating these efforts to their consumers and the general public.

The PPRS indirectly addresses climate action through the reduction of resource consumption, increase in resource efficiency, and working towards carbon sinks such as mangroves being alleviated from the stress of plastic pollution.

The PPRS was established to address the growing amount of plastic waste, the majority of which ends up in the oceans or connected waterbodies, affecting not only marine life, but also aerial and terrestrial life that rely on these water bodies.

The PPRS indirectly addresses biodiversity by considering plastic pollution as a threat to all species—whether terrestrial, aquatic, or aerial. Furthermore, the PPRS does not consider landfilling a viable processing option due to potential leakage and competition over land use.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS

PCX Solutions aligns with International Standards on Environmental and Social Safeguards, such as: 

 

1. The International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability[22] 

2. The Asian Development Bank’s Safeguard Policy Statement[23]

3. The World Bank Environmental and Social Framework[24]

 

PCX Solutions also observes the International Labour Organization Standards and Conventions[25] relevant to the below safeguards. The PPRS presents how the safeguards apply to the PPRS Projects: 

 

A. Environmental and Social Risk Management: Project Partners must, during their PPRS Conformity Assessment, demonstrate that they have assessed the risks, benefits, and impacts (both beneficial and adverse) to the environment, the community, and relevant stakeholders during the various stages of the Project’s life cycle (i.e. construction, operation, and closure). Sufficient stakeholder consultation (at the minimum, consultation with the local community, indigenous community where applicable, and local government bodies) must have been performed by the Project Partner, as part of the process in determining the risks, benefits, and impacts. Compliance obligations must also have been determined in relation to environmental and social risk management. Relevant adverse impacts should be addressed through actions that prevent, mitigate or abate them and such actions should be monitored regularly. 

 

A.1 Social Risk Management for Vulnerable Groups: In the assessment of risks and impacts of the Project, particular attention should be given to the livelihood of vulnerable groups. Vulnerable groups, such as the informal sector, source their income on waste management activities, such as waste picking and trading. Introduction of Projects that aim to collect and process plastic waste may lead to the loss of income and employment for vulnerable groups. It is important to address this risk, either through integration of vulnerable groups into the Project by granting them an equivalent or incremental income and/or benefits or providing alternative sources of livelihood and ensuring that the vulnerable group is capacitated to participate in these (i.e. skill upgrading, training, opportunity inclusion, and sufficient communication and awareness). Plastic credit schemes should seek to eliminate existing gender inequalities and fortify the socio-economic empowerment of vulnerable groups engaged in informal waste management activities.

 

The value generated through credits must be shared equitably through the entire value chain, and third-party auditors should track the socio-economic impact of schemes on participating informal waste collectors over time.

 

A.2 Environmental Impact, Resource Efficiency, and Pollution Prevention: The Project Partner’s compliance with the PPRS provides assurance that in the process of reducing plastic pollution, there shall be no detrimental impacts to other aspects of the environment. The Project Partner shall implement technically and financially feasible and cost-effective measures to improve efficiency in their consumption of energy, water, land, and other resources or materials. The Project Partner shall also pursue all reasonable efforts to avoid the release of pollutants to air, water, and land due to its operations (whether intentional or accidental). Where avoidance is not feasible, the Project Partner shall minimize and/or control the emissions and comply with local regulations. 

 

A.3 Prohibited and Regulated Activities under International Conventions:  In the conduct of plastic waste collection and processing, the Project Partner shall not engage the following:

a. Activities deemed illegal under international conventions and host country regulations;

b. Activities involving toxic and hazardous materials including weapons, munitions, radioactive materials, and medical wastes; and

c. Unacceptable practices such as bribery, corruption, harassment, violence, and coercion. 

 

B. Labor and Working Conditions: The Project Partner shall ensure its compliance to national employment and labor laws. They shall ensure that its workers, whether directly or indirectly contracted, are sufficiently informed of their rights and the organizational policies. 

 

B.1 Occupational Health and Safety: The Project Partner shall provide a safe and healthy work environment. During its PPRS Conformity Assessment, the Project Partner must demonstrate that it has assessed the risks related to health and safety of its workers, including compliance obligations, and have put actions in place to prevent, abate, and mitigate those risks. The Project Partners shall ensure that all workers are sufficiently aware and informed of the risks, are provided training in addressing and managing those risks, and are provided with the knowledge, skills, tools, and equipment to protect themselves from these risks. Project Partners may choose to be guided by ILO C155 - Occupational Safety and Health Convention[26]

 

B.2 Child Labor[27]: The Project Partner shall not employ or allow employment (direct or otherwise) of children in any manner that is economically exploitative, or is likely to be hazardous, or to interfere with the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social health. The Project Partner shall identify the presence of all persons under the age of 18. Where national laws have provisions for the employment of minors, the Project Partner will follow those laws. Persons under 18 shall not be employed in any hazardous work. All work of persons under the age of 18 will be subject to an appropriate risk assessment and regular monitoring of health, working conditions, and hours of work. Project Partners may choose to be guided by ILO C138 - Minimum Age Convention[28].

 

B.3 Forced Labor[29]: The Project Partner will not employ or allow employment of forced labor, which consists of any work or service not voluntarily performed that is exacted from an individual under threat of force or penalty. This covers any kind of involuntary or compulsory labor, such as indentured labor, bonded labor, or similar labor-contracting arrangements. The Project Partner will not employ or allow employment of trafficked persons. Project Partners may choose to be guided by ILO C029 - Forced Labour Convention[30].

 

B.4 Indirect Employment[31]: Where there is a high risk of child labor or forced labor in the primary supply chain (partner collectors, aggregators, processors, etc.), the Project Partner shall identify those risks associated with child and forced labor. If child labor or forced labor cases are identified, the Project Partner should take appropriate steps to remedy them. The Project Partner shall monitor its primary supply chain on an ongoing basis to identify any significant changes, and if new risks or incidents of child and/or forced labor are identified, the Project Partner shall take immediate steps to remedy them. Additionally, where there is a high risk of significant safety issues related to supply chain workers, the Project Partner shall introduce procedures and mitigation measures to ensure that primary suppliers within the supply chain are taking steps to prevent potential or eliminate existing life-threatening situations. The ability of the Project Partner to fully address these risks will depend upon the Project Partner’s level of management control and influence over its primary suppliers. Where remedy is not possible, the Project Partner should shift the Project’s primary supply chain to suppliers that can demonstrate that they are complying with this safeguard. Project Partners may choose to be guided by ILO C122 - Employment Policy Convention[32]

 

C. Gender Equality and Social Inclusion: The Project Partner shall implement policies that safeguard against any form of discrimination and exclusion, such as gender, age, ethnicity, culture, literacy, sickness, physical or mental disability, and poverty or economic disadvantage. The Project Partner shall also implement policies that prohibit harassment related to the above. The Project Partner is encouraged to observe and promote best practices on gender equality and inclusivity. Project Partners may choose to be guided by ILO C111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention[33].

     

D. Feedback and Grievance Mechanisms:

 

D.1 Project: The Project Partner shall implement a grievance mechanism to allow its relevant stakeholders to provide feedback with regards to the Project and its impacts, and for the Project to take appropriate actions or respond to the stakeholder in a timely manner. The grievance mechanism shall be communicated and accessible to the Project’s stakeholders, including PCX Solutions.


D.2 PCX Solutions: PCX Solutions incorporates the views of all the stakeholders in the conduct of the activities and the disclosure of plastic credits in the blockchain ledger. Stakeholders and the public may submit their grievances and concerns on the PPRS implementation through email to pprs@pcxsolutions.org. Grievances shall be duly investigated and appropriately addressed by PCX Solutions. Results of investigation and/or action plans will be communicated to the concerned party.

__________________________________

[20] WWF (2021). WWF Position: Plastic Crediting and Plastic Neutrality. accessed through: https://www.worldwildlife.org/publications/wwf-position-plastic-crediting-and-plastic-neutrality

[21] PCX Solutions actively participates in global policy discussions such as the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) process for a Global Plastic Treaty. We seek to align the PPRS to these policies and appropriate modifications to the PPRS may be implemented upon the conclusion of the INC.

[22] International Finance Corporation (IFC) (2012). Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Accessed through https://www.ifc.org/content/dam/ifc/doc/2010/2012-ifc-performance-standards-en.pdf

[23] Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2009). Safeguard Policy Statement. Accessed through: https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/institutional-document/32056/safeguard-policy-statement-june2009.pdf

[24] World Bank, Washington, DC (2016). World Bank Environmental and Social Framework. Accessed through:  https://thedocs.worldbank.org/en/doc/837721522762050108-0290022018/original/ESFFramework.pdf

[25] International Labor Organization (various). Conventions. Accessed through: https://normlex.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12000:0::NO

[26] International Labour Organization (1981). Occupational Safety and Health Convention. Accessed through: https://normlex.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO:12100:P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312300:NO

[27] Adopted directly from the IFC Performance Standards.

[28] International Labour Organization (1973). Minimum Age Convention. Accessed through: https://normlex.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO:12100:P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312283:NO

[29] Adopted directly from the IFC Performance Standards.

[30] International Labour Organization (1930). Forced Labour Convention. Accessed through: https://normlex.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO:12100:P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312174:NO

[31] Adopted directly from the IFC Performance Standards.

[32] International Labour Organization (1964). Employment Policy Convention. Accessed through: https://normlex.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO:12100:P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312267:NO

[33] International Labour Organization (1958). Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention. Accessed through: https://normlex.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO:12100:P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312256:NO

bottom of page