Plastic Credits for inclusive & transparent circularity


India, Mexico, Vietnam, Brazil


  • Workers throughout local waste value chain
  • Local recycling facilities
  • Systemically underfunded low-income communities and (semi-)rural areas
  • Producers with an interest in spearheading potential EPR solutions in low-income countries
  • Plastic credit registries and trading platforms


  • No adequate working conditions for (informal) workers in waste sector
  • Lack of waste management services and infrastructure in low-income countries
  • Need for funding of waste collection and treatment services 


The project aims to establish reliable financial instruments, Plastic Credits, by integrating transparent and inclusive mechanisms throughout the entire plastic waste value chain that can help countries finance systemic improvements of their waste collection and treatment services.


Plastic Credits are an innovative market mechanism to provide a sustainable source of income for low-income groups in developing countries that engage in waste collection of plastics and its recovery and recycling. The aim of this project is to establish Plastic Credits (compensation payments) as a robust market mechanism, linking formal and informal waste recovery and recycling projects worldwide with companies and investors willing to support these project activities through performance-based payments and ensure their long-term financial sustainability.

The project consists of 4 components:

  1. Development of a process standard (ValuCred) for the transparent calculation, verification and validation of plastic credits (India and Vietnam).
  2. Establishment of a scientific framework and benchmarks for the environmental impact assessment of Plastic Credits projects (India).
  3. Local collectors/recyclers are supported in achieving global market standards and offering materials through a global marketplace (Mexico).
  4. Pilot the concept of performance-based payments for environmental services through the Circular Credits Mechanism to further establish and improve the platform of the Circular Action Hub (Brazil and Mexico).


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Q3 2021

Guide on best practices on the plastic waste management sector developed in 3 different languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese.

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End 2021

Standardised process model for Plastic Credits developed (and ready to be tested in India and Vietnam)

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Mid 2022

More than 1,500 circular credits issued (Brazil and Mexico) and robust principles and criteria for Circular Action Hub established



ValueCred Report: Retrospective of recent market dynamics Plastic Credits – Friend or Foe?

With socio-environmental awareness continually growing yet Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes not being available in most markets outside Europe, plastic packaging causes headaches for hundreds of businesses. Innovative solutions are desperately sought to stem the plastic tide as the pressure on governments and businesses increase. Along with the plastic debris ‘Plastic Credits’ swept ashore in most recent years.

ValuCred analysed the plastic recycling sector and specifically the Plastic Credit market in terms of its ability to create the much needed market transition, anchoring social justice and sustainability firmly within its accounting mechanisms. This analytical report focuses on the seven most relevant voluntary market standards in the newly evolving Plastic Credit market space.


ValuCred Standard Process Model Handbook

The ValuCred Handbook introduces the key concepts of the Standard Process Model (SPM). It explains guiding principles for the integration of minimum requirements for the plastic credit market to foster greater transparency and accountability of all stakeholders involved.

Applying the ValuCred Standard Process Model (SPM) and its digital interface leads to ESG-relevant data collection. The ValuCred reporting structure is shown in an Exemplary ESG-Report of a Service Provider.

The ValuCred Standard Process Model is visualized in flow charts to show the logical and temporal sequence of the process steps: Overall Flow Chart (for both brands and service providers);  Flow Chart for BrandsFlow Chart for Service Providers


Baseline Assessment Report, Interim Report and Final Assessment Report on the Pilot Regions Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala

The  pilot project supported the implementation of a waste management structure in India’s rural regions. It thus aimed to improve the current waste collection and treatment structures in the pilot regions Goa, Maharashtra, and Kerala. The project focused on low value plastics (LVP), and especially multi-layer plastics (MLP) that have no market value.


BVRio Circular Credits Mechanism: Guidelines on best practices for credit systems related to the circular economy 

This guidance document describes the principles and criteria and codes of conducted adopted by the BVRio Circular Action Hub and its Circular Credits Mechanism. It aims at extending the use of its codes of conduct to a wider range of users that share the same objectives of improving their practices related to circular economy activities and circular credit projects worldwide.

The translations of the guidelines and all resources by BVRio on Circular Credit Mechanisms like the concept note (2020), the report on the Circular Action Hub and Circular Credits Mechanism – Principles & Criteria (2020) can be found on the BVRio website.


Video: Key Lessons Learnt from Socially Inclusive, Circular Plastics Value Chain Projects

The project was presented at the Circular Solutions Festival. Watch the recording of the session to learn more about the key lessons learnt from the Plastic Credits pilot projects.

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