Use Case: Plastic Bank – Empowering the World to Stop Ocean Plastic

The Plastic Bank leverages Blockchain and IBM Cloud technologies to create an application that helps monetize ocean plastic.

The problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans has gained increasing visibility of late. Although raising awareness is positive, it’s done little to curb the root of the problem, the estimated eight million metric tons of plastics that go into the oceans every year. Plastic Bank has the vision to set up recycling systems in economically disadvantaged parts of the world that would enable local citizens to monetize plastic pollution.

The project aims to clean up the environment while addressing the poverty issue. Plastic Bank has an initiative called Social Plastic, where citizens collect and exchange plastic for money, in this case, tokens. These tokens can then be used to access healthcare, pay school tuition, and can be exchanged for local currency. Blockchain can be used to track the payments and reduce the risk of loss or theft.

For David Katz, the founder of Plastic Bank, blockchain is really a database that allows him to understand who has been contributing or changing data. Blockchain is a technology that enables true authenticity. It enables for value (money or good quality recycled plastic) to be transformed between corporates and into the hands of the poor in emerging countries without the need of intermediaries such as government or the risk of it being hijacked by malicious parties such as the mafia. Plastic Bank corporate customers want to make sure that when they buy good quality recycled plastic from them that the value is truly transferred to the people who are collecting the plastic.

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