One Norwegian startup called Empower believes it can convince consumers to take the kind of action needed to significantly reduce plastic pollution. Forbes has taken an in-depth look at how the company believes it can solve the plastic waste problem by using a blockchain-enabled system.
Empower founder Wilhelm Myrer’s answer to the global problem is to use blockchain technology as a means to record waste brought to collection centers and reward those who gather it. As Forbes points out, rewards-driven recycling is not a new concept; however, Myrer believes his system could be rolled out to nongovernment organizations and corporations to hard-to-reach consumers in emerging markets.
Forbes has more details:
There was a time when watching a David Attenborough wildlife documentary was an unalloyed pleasure. Today it’s a little different. The stunning images continue to delight, but the context has changed. Climate change, population growth and pollution are all taking their toll on wildlife. And when the focus is on the world's oceans, it’s hard not to be depressed at the sheer volume of plastic that is finding its way , not only into the water, but on to the marine food chain.
Much of the plastic that ends up in rivers, oceans and landfill sites can be recycled but to some extent that requires a will on the part of consumers around the globe. So the question is - how do you encourage ordinary people to take their plastic to collection centers, or put it into dedicated recycling bins, rather than simply throwing it away without thought?
On the face of it, this is a policy issue. For example, governments can discourage the use of plastic products, such as carrier bags, by imposing taxes. But what about the positive side of the equation. How do you actively incentivize citizens to do their bit for the planet?