Ever heard of the Plastic Bank? In all probability, not. This venture is an effort to democratize waste management and material handling by using blockchain technology that’s gaining prominence for its transparency and immutability.
What’s so special about Plastic Bank?
As its founders claim, Plastic Bank will use blockchain technology to enable impoverished groups or individuals belonging to poor countries the world over to collect all plastic waste for exchange against credits or tokens that may be transferred to an online digital account.
These tokens or credits can subsequently be used to purchase goods and services that people in impoverished areas can’t normally afford and will include education, medical insurance, healthcare, and even Wi-Fi services, to name a few.
Blockchain technology is being put to use here to exchange waste materials, which subsequently will add value to the lives of those living below the poverty line. This, in other words, is a recycling process which enables someone to earn more.
The bank will enhance authentic data-sharing in areas that are corruption and poverty-affected. The transparency that blockchain brings with it will ensure that all data on who’s collecting waste material and where it should be is readily available. Moreover, this is a pioneering effort at using the technology for social uplift and development.
Blockchain and the environment
Blockchain has already been successfully applied to the envirotech and cleantech sectors with over $300 million having been invested in startups that use blockchain for environmental development focus.
The growth potential for this market, therefore, is enormous and this can increase energy efficiency globally and reduce the carbon footprint through the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions.
Statistics show that for every $1 worth of energy savings, nearly $3 worth of utility transmission costs and distribution investment is savable. The return potential of saving $1 dollar worth of energy is more than the cost of building the infrastructure to generate new energy.
As poor people all over the world collect more plastic waste and deposit it with the bank, blockchain will be applied to verify and authenticate their transactions within seconds. Moreover, costs could be kept at a bare minimum to develop this system which could also be used for other purposes like tracking goods distribution.