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Articles by Reporter Joseph Winters

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A beach cleanup in Malaga, Spain.

For years, companies have been trying to offset their greenhouse gas emissions with carbon credits. Now, they want to do the same thing for their plastic pollution.

A growing number of companies are claiming “plastic neutrality” through the purchase of so-called plastic credits, tradable units that typically each represent 1 metric ton of plastic waste that’s been removed from the environment. These credits, sold by dozens of unregulated businesses and nonprofits, are supposed to complement companies’ internal plastic reduction strategies while also funding waste collection in the developing world. 

Companies as varied as Burt’s Bees, Nestlé, and the pet food brand Nature’s Logic have vowed to neutralize at least some of their plastic footprint using credits. The beauty product company Davines, for example, says that for every piece of plastic it sells to consumers, it funds the removal of an equivalent amount of plastic from coastal areas in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brazil. 

“We are reaching a 1:1 balance... Read more

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