What is plastic offsetting? And can it really help to fight the plastic crisis?

A plastic waste clean-up in an Orang Laut village in Indonesia, ran by Seven Clean Seas. Companies pay to have waterways cleaned to offset the plastic they cannot eliminate from their operations. Image: Seven Clean Seas Companies are under growing pressure to reduce the amount of plastic they produce and consume, as the plastic waste choking the oceans continues to horrify consumers, anger activists and worry investors. But for some companies, there is only so much plastic they can realistically remove from their operations for the foreseeable future. A restaurant can stop offering customers straws, coffee cup lids and carrier bags. But what about the food packaging that extends a product’s shelf life? Companies can offset unavoidable plastic use by investing in projects that tackle plastic pollution. This is known as plastic offsetting. Tom Peacock-Nazil, founder, Seven Clean Seas One of the first organisations to offer companies a plastic offsetting service was Seven Clean Seas, the brainchild of former financial advisor and shipbroker Tom Peacock-Nazil, who founded his firm in 2018. The Singapore-based company, which is already profitable after less than two years of operations, offsets the plastic a company cannot eliminate by removing an equivalent amount of plastic […]

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