Let’s be frank, we have a global plastic pollution problem. 8 million tons of it to be exact! What are we going to do about it?
Starboard Co. has taken the lead in offsetting the impacts of the plastic used in its business by creating the first Plastic Offset Program (POP) in coordination with the Plastic Disclosure Project and its methodology for measuring a company’s plastic footprint.
Although Starboard is not directly responsible for marine littering, they still use plastic in their production which means they still participate in a plastic economy that pollutes those waters with toxic plastic materials.
After calculating their Plastic Footprint, Starboard took the leap to “price in” its plastic use by assigning a financial value to the plastic used in production according to three different factors: duration of use, toxicity, and creation of waste. By accounting for these factors with an offset price, the Plastic Offset Program acknowledges the dynamic nature of the problems caused by plastics and further clarifies – and quantifies – the investment necessary to mitigate the impact of plastic used. This pricing scheme also encourages companies like Starboard to rethink and reinvent how they use plastic in an effort to reduce the external cost of the plastics they use. Eliminating plastics from production, or switching to less harmful varieties (and thus with lower offset prices) will lead to a reduced investment in the Plastic Offset Program, incentivizing companies to reengineer and reduce their plastic consumption habits.
About the Plastic Disclosure Project:
The Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) is a global program which was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), and has since been endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank. The program is a methodology for calculating a baseline use of plastic and/or waste generation, similar to that of carbon or water reporting, allowing companies to better manage their plastic resources, with a reduced waste impact. The PDP is an important program to undertake in the quest to bring plastic into a much greater circular economy system. The program is operated and founded by Ocean Recovery Alliance, an NGO based in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
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