Blockchain Solution to Tackle Global Ocean Plastics Crisis


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SC Johnson has revealed its partnership with a plastic waste recycling startup, Plastic Bank in a bid to tackle global ocean plastic and encourage recycling in Indonesia.

Currently running a successful proof-of-concept project in Haiti, Plastic Bank uses a unique cryptocurrency solution to reward recyclers. Running on IBM’s Hyperledger protocol, it connects plastic waste collectors with buyers, creating a reliable reward system for recyclers collecting ocean plastics.

Ocean Plastics in Indonesia

Following a report published by the McKinsey Center and Ocean Conservancy in 2015, Indonesia is one of the top 5 countries responsible for plastic waste. The report also outlines other countries like Thailand, China, Vietnam and Philipines as responsible for over 55% of plastics finding their way into the ocean.

The report gives a promising forecast that if an 80% rise in plastic collection and recycling across the five countries is achieved, ocean plastics pollution in the ocean would be reduced by 23%. While various solutions have been geared towards this end, most of them haven’t been successful due to a large number of areas responsible for ocean plastics waste. Limited infrastructure and security concerns have also been a major issue when rewarding recyclers.

With Indonesia being home to the world’s largest levels of marine life, plastic leakage threatens the food chain that supports millions of lives. Plastic Bank is using a blockchain solution to incentivize enough Indonesians to collect plastics and get payments in digital tokens instead of fiat.

Plastic Bank CEO — David Katz, said that the partnership not only aims to battle this serious environmental problem but also help to combat poverty and give waste collectors a sense of pride. The solution will benefit various socio-economic demographics in Indonesia, with SC Johnson being the first CPG Company to support such a program in the area.

According to SC Johnson, various collection centers are set to be operational by May 2019, with the first center launched in Bali on October 28th. The centers will have a minimum of 100 metric tons of waste plastic every year.

Additionally, the program will educate local Indonesian communities about the social and environmental implication of plastic pollution. It’s also expected to reveal the opportunities presented by plastic recycling.

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