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US Cleaning Supplies Firm SC Johnson has announced that it plans to launch blockchain rewards-based recycling centers in Indonesia to help solve the problem of plastic pollution.
The company, which also which owns such brands as Glade, Ziploc and Mr Muscle, will open eight centers with the support of Plastic Bank using a tokens-for-waste payment system for local users.
Plastic Bank was the featured in the award-winning documentary A Plastic Ocean. They received the prestigious Sustainia Community Award at COP21, the Beacon For Change Award at COP23, the RCBC Innovation Award. Recently, their new blockchain exchange and incentives platform received an IBM Beacon Award.
Recent research has shown that that five Asian countries — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — account for more than 55% of the plastic waste leaking into the ocean. Indonesia, currently participating in a number of blockchain programmes, is also a significant contributor to ocean pollution.
The first disposal center opened this week on 28 October on the Indonesian Island of Bali. They allow users to exchange plastic waste for digital tokens which can then be used to purchase goods and services. SC Johnson suggested that the risk of loss or theft of funds will be limited due to the tokens being supported by blockchain.
The founder of Plastic Bank, David Katz, suggests that blockchain is the tool that can combat ocean pollution with such innovations, and the new project could also reduce poverty in Indonesia. Another decentralized program, in this case run by the UN, has had huge success in Jordan over the past two years as the UN Women program continues to offer incentives to refugees using a blockchain salary system.
A Norwegian company has recently come up with its own way of freeing the oceans of plastic waste with a similar tokens program. The project launched by Empower enables the public to remove plastic waste to any certified recycling station and be rewarded with waste tokens.
The idea draws on a system that has been in operation for some time throughout Norway where plastic bottles can be returned to shops for between 15 and 30 cents a bottle. There are also other incentives through the system for both users and manufacturers, the latter with an environmental tax exemption based on waste quotas.