SC Johnson, manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals, and environmental organization Plastic Bank have joined forces to reduce the global crisis of ocean plastic using blockchain.
At present, an estimated 12.7 million tons of plastic – from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads – end up in the world’s oceans each year, which are the equivalent of one dump truck load every minute. It is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the world by 2050. Five countries in Asia alone — Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and China — account for more plastic leakage into the oceans than the rest of the world combined. According to a 2015 report by Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, raising collection rates to an average of approximately 80 percent across just those five countries would reduce plastic-waste leakage into the ocean by approximately 23 percent.
To help increase recycling rates in impoverished communities across Indonesia, SC Johnson partnered with Plastic Bank to open eight plastic collection centers throughout the country. The first one has officially opened in tourist mecca Bali on October 28, with other centers scheduled to be operational by May 2019. SC Johnson also plans to expand the program to additional countries in the future.
“Our oceans need protecting. I applaud the Indonesian government’s pledge to provide $1 billion per year to reduce plastic pollution,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Business, government and NGOs need to come together to take on this important issue. It’s critical that we take action to help stop the increasing amount of plastic leaking into our oceans.”
The centers will be utilizing Plastic Bank’s exchange platform built on blockchain to incentivize collection of plastic waste before it enters the ocean. The center will allow local waste collectors to exchange plastic waste for digital tokens, which can then be used to purchase goods and services.
“This partnership with SC Johnson is the first of its kind in Indonesia,” said David Katz, Founder and CEO of Plastic Bank. “It will help create more opportunities for people living in poverty and will offer waste collectors an important sense of pride. SC Johnson is the first CPG company to scale a program of this kind in Indonesia that will benefit a wide range of socio-economic demographics including local residents living below the poverty level.”
As part of the initiative, SC Johnson and Plastic Bank will also educate the local community about the growing threat of plastic pollution and about opportunities to recycle locally.
“We want to help recover plastic equal to the amount we put into the world, through innovative recycling and recovery programs,” said Johnson. “In this way we can neutralize our environmental impact and, at the same time, do some good in communities that have excessive plastic pollution.”