Enabling Plastic Credit Finance to Scale Waste Management Activities in Goa
Project Lead: rePurpose Global
Partners: vRecycle Waste Management Services, Goa
Support: Received mentoring, training and capacity building support from the first cycle of the Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC), which was financially supported by the Government of Canada. Direct financial support provided by Swiss Re Foundation and the UK’s Blue Planet Fund
Location: Goa, India
Financial Innovation: Plastic Credits
rePurpose Global is a leading Plastic Action Platform dedicated to reducing waste, reviving lives and restoring nature’s balance. The organisation helps people and companies calculate, reduce and offset their plastic footprint, whilst empowering innovators to advance the circular economy through a range of solutions.
rePurpose Global channels investment towards innovations, working to solve the plastic problem. The organisation intercepts plastic before it becomes a pollutant, by installing infrastructure to redesign and reduce the use of plastic altogether. It also removes and recovers plastic dumped directly into the Ocean, along our coastlines and on land. By subsidising low-value plastic, it saves the material from going to landfill and incineration, whilst empowering waste workers to tackle this issue.
The support from ORRAA is helping rePurpose Global reduce plastic waste and clean up the coastal state of Goa in collaboration with vRecycle Waste Management Services. Plastic neutrality is achieved when an individual or organisation’s plastic footprint is measured and balanced by the removal and recovery of plastic waste from nature and complemented by reductions in plastic use.
Goa has 104 kms of beach coastline and receives five times its population in tourists each year. Approximately 766 million tonnes of solid waste is generated per day in Goa, not including waste generated by tourists.
Over the last few decades, these pristine coastlines have been subject to a large amount of plastic pollution, affecting wildlife and contaminating waterways. This has been observed in eco-sensitive areas like sand dunes and mangroves that lie between the coastline and municipal boundaries. Such areas are in “no man’s land”, that is they do not fall under the responsibility of either the Government-appointed beach cleaning contractors or the coastal village appointed waste management contractors who are responsible for waste management in the state.
Additionally, a few small islands and beaches off the mainland coast, accessible only by boat, are also not covered in the state’s waste management plan.
This has resulted in these areas becoming a dumping ground and the waste all too often finds its way into the marine ecosystem.
Historically it has been uneconomical for local waste management organisations, like vRecycle, to service these areas.
Through Plastic Credits, an innovative financial instrument, rePurpose Global raises funding from brands that are using plastics in their value chain and distribute the proceeds to a vetted network of impact projects. rePurpose Global partners with established local waste management organisations to prevent plastic waste from polluting natural environments. By tying funding to environmental results instead of financial returns, rePurpose Global is encouraging the transition to a circular economy in three ways.
Firstly it subsidises the operational costs for waste management enterprises to recover low value plastic waste; secondly it funds the development of new waste management facilities in areas without proper infrastructure, such as coastal areas or island nations in the Global South; and finally it provides free technology to digitise and unify the waste sector and allow impact traceability, while incentivising continued use of technology.
In Goa, rePurpose Global works with vRecycle Waste Management Services, to serve these neglected regions and by making it financially viable to recycle and reuse low value plastics.
The partnership project “Saaf Samudra” enables collection and processing of low value plastics. The project has strict traceability processes in place to measure the on the ground impact of plastics recovered with the use of Plastic Credit funding and the number of workers who directly benefit from this project.
In tandem with the processing of waste, vRecycle also holds regular awareness building sessions to educate and engage local coastal communities towards better waste segregation practices.
Since 2020, rePurpose Global has mobilised funds for the removal of over 500,000 kgs of low value plastics in Goa with the support of vRecycle. In addition, this project is also providing jobs with regular, fair and living wages to over 25 workers.
Scalability and Next Steps
To date, rePurpose Global has acquired over 250 paying businesses across various industries (food and beverage, beauty, health and wellness, professional services, retailers and food delivery) which have gone Plastic Neutral.
rePurpose Global assesses the Total Addressable Market Size (TAM) for voluntary plastic credits will reach or even exceed the TAM for voluntary carbon credits (USD$295.7m in 2018, expected to grow to USD$5+ billion) in the next five years. rePurpose Global wants to capitalise on the improved use of technology to scale up its operations and positive impact, while improving the customer experience and impact monitoring process. Plastic Credits enables it to scale up its operational model of engaging with formal collection sources like municipalities and villages and extends plastic waste management services to other collection sources in the state of Goa.