17, Jul 2023
ACC’s Deekali Plastic Waste Project is First in Africa to Earn VERRA Plastic Credit Registration
Global corporates can now purchase verified plastic credits to support reduction of massive plastic blight overwhelming the African continent, starting in Senegal
DAKAR, Senegal – July 17, 2023 – Africa Carbon & Commodities (ACC), an organization driving sustainable solutions for environmental challenges in Africa, today announced the Deekali Plastic Project in Senegal is the first plastic credit project in Africa to meet the stringent requirements for registration for the VERRA Plastic Waste Reduction Standard. The Deekali project now offers global corporate entities the first chance to offset their plastics footprint through the purchase of plastic credits that will support the growth of a circular economy in developing countries while helping to mitigate Africa’s massive plastic problem that threatens oceans and the environment.
The Deekali Plastic Project in Senegal is one of only four programs globally to meet the VERRA requirements for plastic credits. A total of 34 projects around the world are listed on the VERRA directory, currently going through the approval and registration process. For every verified credit, one ton of plastic is removed from the environment or recycled in order to meet the VERRA standard. Under project development lead ACC, the Deekali Plastics Project underwent a two- year VERRA review process and an independent one year audit ensuring the project met all social and environmental requirements as well as monitoring of the plastic waste from its source to its end destination.
The Deekali Project: ACC monitoring staff with employees from one of its recycling centers.
“Gaining the registration status from VERRA is a remarkable achievement, and now plastic credits can be purchased by global companies and organizations, allowing corporates to make a difference in Senegal, a Least Developed Country, which is suffering from immense plastic pollution,” said Nicole Dewing, ACC co-founder and managing director. “The registration marks a major milestone in ACC’s fight against plastic waste in Africa. The program is a necessary tool to start the plastic recovery revolution.”
“ACC’s vision is to use the plastic credits program to help eliminate plastic waste from dumps, landfills, public areas, beaches, and households in Senegal, as well as provide meaningful and well-paid jobs to local residents,” Dewing continued.
The plastic crisis in Senegal is due to an inadequate infrastructure for managing waste and/or poorly or non-enforced regulations on use. While the country has a fraction of the U.S. population, it produces twice the volume of the United States’ mismanaged plastic waste. Senegal’s 521-kilometer coastline is particularly vulnerable.
“Plastic waste in Senegal not only causes very harmful air pollution when it’s burned, but also significantly impacts our marine life, and (by extension) the livelihoods of local fishing communities,” explained Mamdou Sarr, ACC co-founder and executive director. “The plastic credits program provides an incentive for global companies to help developing countries, have a more positive impact, and be a part of the solution.”
How the Deekali Project Works
The internationally approved plastic credit program of VERRA—similar in concept to the more-established and familiar carbon offset credit programs—is a private-to-private market-based system, with a goal of establishing a circular economy. Companies worldwide seeking to find a way to offset their plastic footprint can now purchase plastic credits, and help where the problem is most acute – countries in which solid waste management is nonexistent or inadequate.
The Deekali plastic credit project brings together hundreds of plastic waste collectors and three recycling facilities to combat this blight at the grassroots level. Cash generated by plastic credit sales pays for plastic waste collection targeting either removal from the environment or recycling. The plastic waste is recycled into chips and granules and sold to plastic manufacturers to replace virgin plastic. The Project also produces plastic lumber that is made from 100% recycled plastic, which is used to manufacture school desks, stools, chairs, tables and much more – essentially anything that can be manufactured with lumber.
Macoumba Diagne, director of one of the recycling companies in the Deekali Project, points out that the plastic credits allow his operations to increase the company’s collection and recycling capacity through modernization of its production lines, as well as recruit new employees, and improve employees’ working environment. His employee programs include “One Employee, One Roof,” enabling pre-financing of ecological and affordable housing.
About Africa Carbon & Commodities (ACC)
Africa Carbon & Commodities (ACC) is a leading project developer dedicated to driving sustainable solutions for environmental challenges in Africa. ACC pioneers innovative projects that combat climate change, promote sustainable practices and empower local communities. With a strong focus on plastic waste reduction and recycling, ACC is actively involved in creating a circular economy and supporting organizations in offsetting their plastic footprint. For more information, visit www.acc.sn | firstname.lastname@example.org.
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