3R (Reduce, Recover, Recycle) Initiative 

A New Market-Based Model for Recovering and Recycling Plastic Waste
Partnership Name:
3R (Reduce, Recover, Recycle) Initiative
SDG Target:
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production 

Today, cities around the world create about 1.3 billion tons of solid waste annually, amounting to more than $1 trillion in global losses due to inadequate recovery and recycling practices. While the opportunity for recycling is clear, both companies and governments have experienced significant roadblocks in redirecting solid waste, particularly plastic waste, to a more circular lifecycle. For instance, some of the most widely used packaging types, such as thin film plastic used in candy wrappers and plastic bags, have no commercial value as waste, providing little incentive for their recovery. Additionally, consumer goods companies, responsible for 75% are under considerable pressure to reduce the environmental impact of their products and packaging; however, until now it has been hard for them to address waste beyond their own supply chains.


The 3R Initiative will create a new plastic recovery and recycling crediting mechanism, which will provide an efficient and powerful means to drive new finance to projects and activities that reduce plastic in the environment. The crediting mechanism will be underpinned by the 3R Standard for Project Accounting, which will enable the robust and consistent measurement and reporting of projects that reduce plastic waste around the world.


With P4G funding, the partnership will fully develop its proposed 3R Standard for Project Accounting and create a new market for the recovery and recycling of plastic waste by 2021. Through testing the crediting mechanism with early implementation projects, the Initiative is expected to lead to the recovery of 10,000 tons of plastic waste from the environment and 6,750 tons of CO2 emissions avoided or removed. Initially, projects will be focused in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Indonesia with future pilots in Chile, Egypt, Kenya and Vietnam. The success of the 3R Initiative will increase the value of waste plastic, including traditionally low-value items like films and light-weight bags. Consequently, this added value will catalyze new and expanded waste recovery and recycling activities, making previously unjustifiable projects and investments financially viable.

Countries of Impact:
Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Vietnam

BVRio,Conservation International,Danone,Natural Capital Partners, Nestlé, South Pole, SYSTEMIQ,Tetra Pak, Veolia, Verra   

More information about this partnership is available here.