Managing the devastating amounts of waste at the end of the life cycle of products is considered one of the biggest challenges on the way to a Circular Economy. The negative consequences resulting from the mismanagement of plastic waste due to missing or non-functioning waste management structures in large parts of the world are becoming increasingly clear. The Circular Economy is a fundamental approach to closing material flows and extending product life cycles. One instrument for approaching this model is the trade in so-called Plastic Credits - a means of financing the expansion of regional infrastructures for the collection and recycling of plastic waste. The buyers of Plastic Credits are the driving force behind the mechanism. Further research is needed, especially on how companies use and integrate Plastic Credits into their overall strategy. This master thesis is dedicated to the upstream question: Do certain profiles exist among companies that invest in plastic credits and can specific clusters be formed?
To answer this question, interviews with experts were analyzed using qualitative con- tent analysis according to Mayring. This resulted in three specific sub-questions relating to the motivation, industry affiliation and spatial location of the customers.
The results show that the buyers of plastic credits are already extensively concerned with the plastic waste problem and the associated impact on the environment. It remains to be seen to what extent measures to avoid virgin plastic, improve the recyclability of products or use recyclates in production are given priority over compensation. In terms of industry affiliation, the results suggest that it is primarily companies that are confronted with more difficult recyclate use that invest in Plastic Credits. The impact of measures such as the debureaucratization of approval procedures for new recycling processes or mandatory proportions of recycled materials in certain products on investment in Plastic Credits will be seen in the future. The analysis of the geographical location provided information that currently mainly companies from the global North invest in Plastic Credits - however, this is linked to the aim of intensifying financing from within the project countries.
Plastic Credits als Instrument zur Annäherung an eine Circular Economy
Einordnung der Nutzung des Marktmechanismus auf Abnehmerseite
Wuppertal 2023, ISBN 978-3-946356-33-2
(Wuppertaler Studienarbeiten zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung no. 30)