Oregon-based Aunt Fannie's, a supplier of sustainable household cleaning and pest solutions, has announced that it is now certified Plastic Neutral.
Working in collaboration with rePurpose Global, the world's first Plastic Credit Platform, Portland-based Aunt Fannie's committed to collecting, processing and recycling as much nature-bound plastic waste as it contributes across its packaging and operations.
This will allow every Aunt Fannie's product purchase in 2021 and beyond to carry a Net Zero plastic footprint.
RePurpose is a social enterprise that co-designs and executes waste management and economic empowerment projects in collaboration with partners across three continents and seven countries.
Its approach is based on a system of plastic credits. These credits function as a financing tool to generate funding for plastic reduction, recovery, and recycling solutions in areas of the world where this is currently unavailable.
According to rePurpose, recycling supply chains worldwide annually face a funding gap of $50 billion.
One plastic credit equals one additional kilogram of plastic waste avoided from nature or recovered from oceans, landfills or incineration.
Participating businesses and consumers can then buy these plastic credits; the funds from those purchases are used to finance the removal and recycling of nature-bound plastic waste through different types of interventions. These can vary from investing in low-value plastic recovery or infrastructure to circular innovations or marine plastic recovery.
An objective third party will be able to assess project data and confirm the quantity and quality of credits.
For Aunt Fannie's, the first step was an audit process to measure the size of the brand's plastic footprint. After that, the company pledged to fund the removal of as much plastic waste from nature as its annual footprint — in this case, 227,540 lbs.
The company opted to support the Multi-Layered Plastic Packaging Recovery project in Aurangabad, India, to collect and process hard-to-recycle waste streams otherwise of too low value to be reclaimed from the environment, such as chocolate wrappers, chips packets, and similar flexible packaging items.
Through the initiative, the company is also boosting the income of the informal waste workers and their families in Aurangabad. Today, informal waste workers often earn less than $5 per day, work in precarious conditions, and face severe discrimination despite providing a crucial societal service for cities across the developing world.
"There is a devastating amount of waste in our industry and plastics have always been a concern company-wide and a concern for our environmentally-conscious customers," said Aunt Fannie's CEO Mat Franken. "We believe in the power of brands to affect long-lasting change and we will continue to make bold commitments that help to protect our planet."
"Planetary protection is at the core of Aunt Fannie's, so it's now refreshing to see them push the boundaries on tackling the plastic waste problem," said Aditya Siroya, co-founder and chief impact officer of rePurpose Global. "We hope this pioneering move pushes more brands to take responsibility for their own plastic waste."