Businesses can now take significant steps to manage plastic waste and its impact on the environment, thanks to the launch of the world’s first best-practice standard for Responsible Plastic Management (RPM).
According to the Pew Foundation, the flow of plastic into the world’s oceans will nearly triple to 29 million metric tonnes per year by 2040 if no action is taken. This could increase even more with single-use masks, gloves and aprons used to fight COVID-19 transmission now littering beaches and polluting our waters along with vast amounts of other plastic debris.
Now, by signing up to the RPM Standard and Program, organisations can showcase their commitment to taking proactive steps to better measure, reduce and re-use the plastic.
Once companies have completed the five-step RPM programme, an assessment by independent global assurance company Lloyd’s Register will enable successful organisations to be certified and listed publicly in the RPM online directory.
RPM was founded as a not for profit, international organisation, by experienced assurance and sustainability specialists Peter Marshall and Dave Garforth. Mr. Marshall comments:
One of the current issues facing the industry is that there is no official standard which helps organisations create an effective management plan. So, while we may hear that companies have committed to reducing their plastic waste, it’s unlikely that these plans will have been independently verified
Certified organisations can access the RPM Trust Mark to illustrate their commitment to tackling this issue of plastic pollution to buyers, stakeholders and external parties.
Complementing existing best practice industry standards – including ISO 14001 for environmental management – the RPM programme starts with an audit of existing policies and processes, which can take place either onsite or remotely. From there, an organisation’s credentials will be verified and a manageable, tiered programme will be officially implemented. Annual reviews will take place to ensure companies are on track to meet commitments in the avoidance, reduction, re-use and recycling of plastics and to ensure continued compliance.