Using blockchain for recycling may improve efficiency

Blockchain can collect and house data for the recycling industry and add to supply chain optimisation

Blockchain startup RecycleGo is working with DeepDive Technology Group (DTG) to enable companies to track the life cycle of an individual plastic bottle, from production to recycling.

The world produces up to 300 million tons of plastic waste annually and only 9% of it is recycled, according to UN estimates. This situation demonstrates the recycling industry is still in its infancy and can grow in efficiency.

The CEO of RecycleGo, Stan Chen, commented on the current situation of the industry:

“Plagued with inefficiencies, a slew of stakeholders, and a lack of digital data” Chen also calls for a “greater supply chain visibility for better decision-making.”

Chen claims inefficiencies in the recycling market are due to lack of incentives from governments to encourage households and businesses to recycle.

Chen added:

“The more visibility you have in any kind of supply chain, the more you’re able to engage in enterprise resource planning, including pricing and purchasing decisions and inventory management, which has a direct impact on protecting your margins and ultimately your value creation as a whole.”

How does it work?

Currently, the project is in its first phase, wherein collaborators will provide information on how a bottle is created, how it will be collected, processed and recycled for future reproduction.

From this phase alone, participants stand to benefit from a 15 to 20% reduction in cost.

The data provided by collaborators will be scalable, enabling large producers to, directly and indirectly, optimise their supply chain, improving both costs and public image.

The project is still under development and is built using HyperLedger Fabric, and is backed by over 250 entities such as IBM, Intel and DeepDive.

Misha Hanin, CEO of DeepDive, shared his goals for the project:

“We are building this blockchain not just for RecycleGO, but for everyone who wants to be a part of this network. Our goal is to take recycling rates from around 8% to 100% moving forward.”

A global initiative

Recently, a similar project in Canada launched its pilot project named “reciChain”. It is pursuing supply chain optimisation and sustainability by tracking plastic products with a “chemical barcode”, linking it with a digital twin.

The pilot will test both rigid and flexible plastics. These systems aren’t connected at the moment, but as the industry grows, there may be potential for further collaboration globally.

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