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ValuCred: Plastic Credits for Inclusive and Transparent Circularity

According to estimations of UNEP, 3.5 billion people don’t have access to proper waste management services – this is nearly half of the world’s population. Especially in low-income countries, the collection of recyclables depends almost entirely on the informal sector. Informal waste workers are amongst society’s most marginalized groups with no recognition of their valuable services, often being deprived access to sustainable income sources and basic social services.

How can we make waste management and recycling inclusive, transparent and sustainable?Systematic improvements of waste collection and treatment services are urgently needed, which include the development of infrastructure and adequate remuneration for all workers along the waste value chain. Plastic Credits can serve as new financial instrument to help disadvantaged countries fund these projects. For the transparent calculation and valorisation of Plastic Credits, a new and innovative approach is needed. Instead of transferring the operating principles of the CO2-emissions trading, ValuCred is developing a standardized process model (SPM) that can be replicated internationally and will be supported by digital solutions. It aims to align the interests of global stakeholders and promote the collaboration amongst existing initiatives for Plastic Credit markets. The ValuCred SPM is based on global best industry practices such as the ISO and the GRI standards, it incorporates the relevant metrics of the UN SDGs, and refers to and considers the relevant international regulatory framework as the Basel Convention and national Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes.

In its most recent report, based on extensive market research in 2021, ValuCred shares the results of an analysis of different voluntary standards, and ValuCred‘s perspective on innovative impulses for the emerging Plastic Credit market. Most importantly, the report calls for a paradigm shift: the integration of aspects of social justice and transparency in the accounting mechanisms of Plastic Credits, a commonly agreed upon yet hardly implemented narrative. If implemented sustainably, Plastic Credits have the potential to serve as a financial instrument to provide a lasting source of income for low-income groups such as informal waste workers in developing countries. Whilst it is a noble goal to “end poverty”, our target must be more ambitious: to “ensure living wages” for all. For further reading you can download the report below.

ValuCred is a consortium led by Yunus Environment HubNehlsen & Rodiek, and BlackForestSolutions, for the design and financing of sustainable plastic waste management systems. ValuCred is one of the first projects promoted by PREVENT Waste Alliance, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Röchling Stiftung

Download ValuCred‘s report  

“Plastic Credits – Friend or Foe? Retrospective of recent market dynamics“. 

Together with our partners, we also published a research paper on establishing a basis for the remuneration of labour in the waste value chain as part of ValuCred‘s new plastic credit pricing model.


January to March 2021
Completion of an extensive market research on existing plastic crediting initiatives, platforms and standards, including benchmarking and documentation

April to September 2021

  • Development of the Standard Process Model (SPM)
  • Design for a platform-neutral Application-Programming Interface (API)

October 2021 to June 2022

  • Integration of actors from different fields via a multi-stakeholder process
  • Testing and reiterative adaptation of the SPM and API in 5 pilot countries

September 2022
Publication of ValuCred’s Standard Process Model

If you have any questions regarding the program you can reach out to us via e-mail or find more information on the PREVENT website or in the downloadable factsheet below.

Our Partners:

Funded by: