Preserving our planet is one of the top issues of the day. Scientists agree that we need to take action now before the damage that we’ve done to our planet is irreversible. Individuals, industries, and governments are all aware that immediate changes need to be made to ensure a healthy planet for upcoming generations.
The problem is that opportunistic entities have realized that there is money to be made from environmentalism, leading to practices that look good to consumers but aren’t actually good for the environment. This practice is called greenwashing.
Due to a lack of regulation surrounding sustainability and environmentalism, greenwashing is all too easy. In order for a product to be truly sustainable, it must be carefully monitored from the cultivation of the raw materials to the moment the product is purchased by the consumer. Sustainability doesn’t just include environmental practices; social considerations must be made as well. Without regulation, these rigorous standards are impossible to monitor.
In lieu of international sustainability standards, we must turn to private certification companies. This brings us to TONTOTON’s OBP Neutrality Subprogram Certification. Here at TONTOTON, we hold the utmost importance in developing projects that are truly sustainable. While our projects aim to remove ocean-bound plastic from the environment, we also ensure that the plastic is eliminated in a truly environmental manner and that the communities and waste pickers with whom we work enjoy fair wages, support, and more fulfilled lives as a result of our projects.
Here’s some information about the Ocean-Bound Plastic Neutrality Certification, why it’s important, and why you can feel secure investing in TONTOTON’s plastic credit system because of this certification.
The OBP Certification Program is developed by Zero Plastic Oceans, an NGO based in France. Their overall goal is to ensure that companies and programs that seek to remove ocean-bound plastic from the environment are doing so in a truly sustainable way. They seek to fill the notable gap when it comes to international regulations surrounding plastic waste management.
They offer two different certifications: the OBP Recycling Subprogram and the OBP Neutrality Subprogram.
The OBP Recycling Subprogram certifies that products are recycled from ocean-bound plastic collected from the environment. It includes analysis of collection processes as well as verification of recycling standards.
The OBP Neutrality Subprogram certifies that plastic neutralization programs properly collect and manage non-recyclable OBP waste and that plastic credits are issued following the OBP Plastic Producers & Users Standard.
Both of these programs are further audited by a third party to ensure that their rigorous standards are fully followed. The standards verify that:
- The entire value chain of plastic collection and disposal implements international environmental and social standards.
- No child labor is used, fair working conditions are implemented, and that there are adequate waste management practices.
- The origin of the plastic waste is ocean-bound (whether it’s found along the shoreline, in waterways connected to the ocean, and other standards).
With an Ocean-Bound Plastic Certification, you can be sure that the plastic collected has been done so in a truly socially and environmentally responsible way.
Why is neutrality certification important?
As mentioned previously, greenwashing is a growing issue. Today’s consumers are environmentally conscious, and they want to support businesses and producers that are practicing sustainability. Unfortunately, this has led to companies and other entities touting environmentalism to improve their image while actually continuing to make poor environmental choices.
Because of this, it’s important that any sustainability programs are audited and certified by experts who can thoroughly vet environmental practices. We must ensure that the environmental practices that we take on today will actually make a difference in the future.
Consumers are also becoming aware of the greenwashing issue. They want to ensure that the companies they support are truly practicing sustainability and not just presenting empty promises. When your company chooses to participate in practices like plastic neutrality, your consumers will want to see that you’re not just saying that you’re plastic neutral but that your plastic credits are truly aiding the environment.
The OBP Neutrality Subprogram Certificate and TONTOTON’s community-based approach
Here at TONTOTON, we’re proud to hold the OBP Neutrality Subprogram Certificate. Having this certification means that our projects and processes have been thoroughly analyzed by a third party in order to follow the rigorous standards set forth by Zero Plastic Oceans and the certification group Control Union.
This certification is important to us because the standards don’t just ensure that our projects are environmentally friendly; they guarantee that we follow the highest social standards as well.
When we discuss sustainability, environmental concerns are placed at the forefront. However, sustainability doesn’t just cover environmental issues; social values are also a major concern.
The Brundtland report defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This includes ethical social standards. When we talk about the removal of ocean-bound plastic waste, we must ensure that the workers and communities are taken care of just as much as we ensure that our projects are truly environmentally sustainable.
At TONTOTON, we equally value the social and environmental benefits of removing non-recyclable OBP from the environment. That’s why we choose to work in communities that are most vulnerable to this type of plastic waste. Our projects empower community members and waste pickers to continue to clean their beaches and waterways through monetizing non-recyclable plastic waste, providing personal protective equipment, and ensuring access to health care and fair wages. Through our work, we’ve not only been able to remove literally tons of plastic waste from the environment, but we’ve also seen noted improvement in the lives of the individuals in the communities in which we work.
Purchasing plastic credits through TONTOTON results in a cleaner environment as well as happier communities. And that’s something that you can feel good about.