Published 3 years ago.
About a 2 minute read.
Developed for companies, the PLP guidelines provide businesses at all stages of the value chain with a robust, standardized method for calculating and reporting
estimates of plastic and microplastic leakage at both the corporate and product level.
The ongoing wave of corporate commitments around reining in plastic waste, while
encouraging, has largely been left at just that — commitments, with little
visibility into progress toward meeting them. While initiatives such as
have emerged to ensure accountability and provide insight on these pledges, we
found ourselves wondering whether there would ever be science-based targets for
as there are for carbon emissions.
Now, sustainability consulting group Quantis and ecodesign
center EA, together with 35 member organizations
and stakeholders, have released the Plastic Leak Project (PLP) Guidelines —
the first standardized methodology to map, measure and forecast plastic leakage
across corporate value chains.
Plastic leakage occurs when macro- and microplastics are not kept in a circular
loop or properly managed at their end of life, and thus leak into the
environment. Companies face growing pressure from investors, consumers and
increasingly governments to take urgent action toward a circular model of
plastics management — but they have largely lacked clear, reliable data and
methods to translate their plastic commitments into actions with measurable and
tangible impact. As a result, many of the policies and efforts to date have been
based on best guesses rather than science; and therefore, don’t get to the root
causes of plastic pollution.
The guidelines, along with proof-of-concept case studies, are the result of a
yearlong collaboration within the multi-stakeholder Plastic Leak Project and
rigorous testing of the methodology through two in-depth pilot projects. They
allow companies to move from commitment to science-based plastic strategies and
meaningful actions on addressing plastic pollution.
“Through the Plastic Leak Project, we've taken the latest science and built
consensus among key sectors on a shared method for calculating plastic
leakage,” states EA director Julien Boucher. “This actionable metric is a
major step forward — it is the tool companies need to design better products and
data-driven strategies to stop plastic pollution along their value chains.”
With a plastic leakage assessment, companies can now locate hotspots, estimate
the amount of leakage and identify the factors contributing to the
leakage across their value chains. The results can be used by sustainability
managers, product and packaging designers, and R&D and marketing teams
to develop plastics strategies, define priorities and targeted
actions, improve product design efforts, identify value chain
innovations, track progress and communicate credibly about the environmental
performance of products and the business as a whole — all of which can
ultimately mitigate business risks and strengthen brand reputation.
about the Plastic Leak Project Guidelines and download them
Published Feb 28, 2020 7am EST / 4am PST / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET