SPAIN – Global food and beverage industry players including Tetra Pak, Nestlé, and Danone have founded The 3R Initiative aimed at accelerating ways of reducing plastic waste and pollution.

Under the initiative, the companies will work alongside non-profits Verra and BVRio to undertake 12 initial pilots of potential credit-issuing projects across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The platform provides companies such as consumer goods firms, retailers and packaging producers with access to a digital tool which allows them to trade plastics credits issued by recycling and recovery providers worldwide.

The credits will be used to prove compliance and to “offset” corporate plastic use, with the money raised through this system set to fund projects tackling plastic leakage “hotspots” and social inequalities in developing nations.

For instance, in Brazil the crediting system will enable disadvantaged waste pickers to generate additional income and improve their work conditions through the sale of plastic waste recovery credits.

In Southeast Asia, 3R credits will go towards new investments in waste collection and recycling infrastructure to seek out the source of plastic pollution and cut it off.

“It’s exciting to be part of creating a much-needed scheme to increase plastic recovery and boost recycling rates globally,” said Mario Abreu, global vice president for Sustainability at Tetra Pak.

“This innovative 3R mechanism – Reduce, Recover, Recycle is the brain child of experts coming together, rolling up their sleeves and taking on the challenge of improving collection.

“Developing and funding solutions to mitigate potential leakage into the environment is one of its core aims close to my heart, and supports our Tetra Pak objective of zero cartons to landfill.”

About The 3R Initiative

The 3R Initiative is a new packaging waste drive focusing on standardising and accelerating corporate action on plastics in a move to help companies align their plastic reductions with economic and social sustainability.

It includes a 3R Corporate Standard, designed to hold corporations accountable for plastic waste by independently assessing them against a set of guidelines.

The assessed companies can then use this standard to celebrate internal successes in terms of waste.

“Trusted and independently managed standards will be key to establishing credible market mechanisms to tackle plastic waste at scale,” said David Antonioli, chief executive officer of Verra.

“The 3R Initiative will deliver these standards through a robust multi-stakeholder process involving respected companies, NGOs and governments, and extensive public consultations.”