Australian banana plantation project earns Verra plastic credits

A plasoc removal project at a banana plantation in northern Queensland. Australia this week was registered under Verras plastic programme and became the second project to receive its WCC plastic credits.

The Far North Queensland Fawn Plastics project was registered and received 32 WCCs. representing 32 tonnes of plastics removed that would normally have been left in the environment.

The project is a cooperation between developer GreenCollar. the Australian Banana Growers Council, and waste company MAMS Group to collect the plastic that is used to cover banana bunches as they ripen, as opposed shredding the plastic and ploughing it into the soil, which is the normal practice.

"By participating in a verified market to remove plastic waste from the environment, we are laying strong foundations for a sustainable future and a robust circular economy,' GreenCollar Group CEO James Schultz said in a press release.

Through its trading arm Terra Carbon, GreenCollar is the biggest producer of Australian Carbon Credit units (ACCUs).

The company has also developed its own Reef credits to address the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. and last year launched NaturePlus biodiversity credits. with the first issuance expected to take place in the near future.

Plastic credits have emerged as a way to limit the devastating impacts of global plastic pollution, including on terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

"We see it as a really exciting way to scale up initiatives that are happening around the world, and a lot of community-driven initiatives, to address the plastic waste problem, but really lack the financing to scale," Anjali Nelson, GreenCollar's general manager, told Carbon Pulse.

"We also think that there's many regions in the world that are underfunded when it comes to the infrastructure needed to manage plastic waste effectively, and so for us this is an exciting opportunity to incentivise that."

Verra launched its plastic credit standard in 2021, and in March last year the Second Life Thailand project became the first to be registered as well as securing an issuance of 736 credits.

Bentley Motors and Escape Travel are among those who have used credits from that project to offset their own plastic use, with a total of 100 of Second Life's credits retired to date, according to the Verra registry.

In December, Verra registered a second project, the Reciki scheme in Indonesia proposed by Danone Aqua.

That project has yet to earn any credits, but is expected to be able to generate up to 15,842 units annually, compared to just 250 for GreenCollar's banana plantation scheme.

In total, 27 projects globally are at different stages of progress towards Verra registration. Most of them are located in developing nations in Asia and Africa, though the US and Canada are represented as well.

Though Verra is the most well-established offset standard to get involved in the plastic credits market, others are active as well.

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