Plastic pollution is on the rise, a problem that threatens both human and environmental health. Between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year and animals aren’t the only ones being affected — a recent report by Orb Media revealed that microplastics have infiltrated tap water across the globe.
Tech startup Blockchain Development Company (BCDC) has rolled out a new initiative that could help drastically drive down plastic pollution and bolster awareness of proper plastic disposal. Through its RecycleToCoin project — a blockchain-based mobile app that incentivizes consumers to trade in plastic bottles — BCDC is launching the world’s first-ever Global Plastic-Offset Scheme, which will allow individuals and companies across the world to calculate and offset their entire annual plastic footprint.
The scheme aims to fund new plastic solutions based on a model similar to carbon offset schemes. Individuals and businesses will be able to assess their plastic impact via an online portal. BCDC then offers companies and members of the public offset tokens or local currency to invest in projects proven to tackle plastic pollution. The use of blockchain technology ensures full transparency and accountability and provides proof to participants that their funds will be spent on plastic solutions.
“We are currently in talks with numerous plastic pollution abatement projects around the world. To partner with and invest in them, ensuring true global plastic offset. It is imperative we tackle the plastic problem head on and encourage all projects involved in fighting plastic pollution to contact us and join the BCDC Global Plastic-Offset Scheme. We believe our initiative is a fantastic way of combating this and every purchase of a BCDC token will allow us to grow the scheme and fight the scourge of plastic pollution,” said Gordon Cowan, CEO of BCDC.
The current numbers for plastic produced to-date — 9.1 billion tons of plastic — demonstrate the scale of the problem. A study by researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara revealed that more than half of this amount — 5.4 billion — is currently in landfill. Plastic production is set to increase to 28.7 billion by 2050, with 13.2 billion tons either discarded in landfill or leaked into the environment. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if measures are not taken to address the issue, there could be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish in the next three decades.
BCDC worked with partners such as the Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) and the Plastic Bank to measure and certify plastic purchases and consumption. PDP previously implemented a similar project with Starboard, a Thailand-based surfboard manufacturer, to understand its complete plastic use and waste footprint.