SENEGAL – The Deekali Plastic Project in Senegal has been announced as Africa’s “first” plastic credit project to meet the registration requirements for Verra’s Plastic Waste Reduction Standard.

The accreditation was announced by Africa Carbon & Commodities (ACC), an NGO driving sustainable solutions for environmental challenges on the continent.

Nicole Dewing, ACC’s managing director said: “Deekali gets the job done where the government cannot, allowing the private sector to take plastic waste out of the environment and repurpose it to replace virgin plastic products.

The Deekali project offers global corporate entities the chance to offset their plastics footprint by purchasing plastic credits supporting circularity in economically developing countries while helping to mitigate pollution.

The project in Senegal is one of four programs to meet the Verra requirements for plastic credits globally.

Thirty-four projects worldwide are listed on the Verra directory, currently going through the approval and registration process.

Dewing explains that Verra requirements are very stringent criteria that are difficult to apply to an “informal economy” in Africa.

“They [the criteria] include assessing project impact with waste collection methodologies, demonstrating additionality using specific processes and receiving desk and field audits from third-party auditors,” he added.

“After over two years of project development, the Deekali project was successful in meeting the criteria and assisted in formalizing the nascent sector in Senegal.

“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, which is suffering from immense plastic pollution.”

The registration marks a major step in ACC’s fight against plastic waste in Africa. The program is an important tool to start the “plastic recovery revolution.”

Dewing adds that 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 residents.

The plastic crisis in Senegal results from inadequate waste management infrastructure and poorly enforced regulations on use.

“Single-use plastic bags are forbidden but are still everywhere in Senegal,” says Dewing.

The Senegalese government does not have the means to develop an adequate solid waste management system, which is why plastic credits are needed to assist the innovative private-sector collection and recycling activities, highlights Dewing.

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