Brussels, 9 July 2020 - CO2logic, specialised in the calculation, reduction and offsetting of CO2 emissions produced by companies and organisations, is now the first in Belgium to focus on plastic neutrality. Companies that successfully reduce and offset their plastic consumption are rewarded with a ‘Plastic Neutral’ label by the independent climate consultancy firm CO2logic and certification company Vinçotte. This label shows that they effectively reduce and offset their plastic footprint and therefore do not shift the associated burden to society. In this way, CO2logic aims to build a financial bridge between the corporate world and global initiatives addressing sustainable plastic collection and recycling that are in urgent need of funds in the battle against plastic waste.
91% of our plastic waste is not recycled. The main reason is because it is cheaper for companies to buy ‘virgin plastic’ than to reuse old plastic. As a result, more and more plastic is circulating. Some of this ends up in landfills or is burned, but far too much ends up in rivers and oceans. Every year more than 8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in our oceans. That’s the equivalent of fifteen truckloads per minute. The social cost* (microplastics in the food chain, mortality of marine animals and birds, less CO2 storage in the oceans, etc.) of one tonne of ocean plastics amounts to somewhere in between 3,000 and 33,000 dollars.
‘Without solutions and a resolute approach to this crisis, there would be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050,’ says Antoine Geerinckx, founder of climate consultancy firm CO2logic. ‘The approach to recycling plastic used in the past few decades apparently doesn’t work. Plastic was too often shipped to open-air dumps in developing countries where workers “recycle” it under wretched conditions. Heavy rainfalls and erosion often cause the plastic to end up in rivers or the sea. Although hundreds of initiatives around the world are committed to circular plastic processing, there are many types of plastic for which this does not apply. Either their market value is too low, or they cost too much per tonne to recycle. There is an urgent need for change and plastic neutrality can bring about this turnaround.’
‘Plastic Neutral’ label
That is why CO2logic, in conjunction with certification company Vinçotte, is now introducing the ‘Plastic Neutral’ label in addition to the ‘CO2 Neutral’ label. By encouraging companies and organisations to invest in reducing their plastic footprint and supporting them in this endeavour, the climate consultancy firm aims to build a new financial bridge between the corporate world and organisations and projects around the world that are engaged in the collection and recycling of plastic. Through its campaign ‘The Lion’s Footprint’, Delhaize is the first company in Belgium to express its commitment to becoming plastic neutral. With a view to obtaining the ‘Plastic Neutral’ label, the supermarket chain is actively working to drastically reduce the amount of plastic it uses and to offset the remainder in collaboration with CO2logic, River Clean Up, Plastic Fisher, Namé Recycling,...
‘The profit is two-fold,’ says Antoine Geerinckx. ‘On the one hand, companies and organisations that obtain the label show that they are aware of their plastic footprint, want to reduce it instead of shifting the burden to society and future generations, and are open to alternatives. On the other hand, by offsetting their plastic consumption, they provide severely needed financing for the collection and recycling of low-value plastic all over the world. This enables this plastic to be processed and put back into circulation, allowing us to make a difference in the battle against plastic waste.’
Avoiding the use of plastic altogether is currently impossible. That’s why CO2logic gives companies and organisations the opportunity to support plastic collection & recycling projects abroad to compensate for their residual consumption of plastic. ‘This isn’t greenwashing at all. For each project, Vinçotte will help ensure that effective plastic neutrality is achieved. By putting plastic neutrality higher on the agenda, we morally oblige companies to take responsibility for their plastic consumption. Offsetting their plastic footprint translates into an investment that can contribute to the large-scale clean-up of our oceans and rivers and the way in which plastic waste is processed here and in developing countries. Moreover, this extra social cost makes the reuse of ocean & river plastics more accessible and attractive compared to petroleum-based plastics. As a result, cleaning up and recycling initiatives will become more financially attractive. Perhaps this is the beginning of a global clean-up initiative,’ concludes Antoine Geerinckx.