Blockchains for circular plastic value chains

KOLADE, Seun (2023). Blockchains for circular plastic value chains. In: OYINLOLA, Muyiwa and KOLADE, Seun, (eds.) Digital Innovations for a Circular Plastic Economy in Africa. Routledge Studies In Sustainability . London, Routledge, 106-119.

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The global plastic waste problem has taken a critical turn over the last decade. It is now estimated that, by 2050, the world would have amassed about 12 billion metric tonnes of plastic wastes. That is more than the weight of all the fish in the ocean, and it would result in the loss of more than $14 trillion to the global economy. While digital technologies, such as mobile apps and social media, have played increasingly important roles in terms of raising awareness and enabling collective actions on plastic waste, this chapter discusses the distinct set of possibilities provided by blockchains to drive a major shift in thinking and approach. Defined as “tamper evident and tamper resistant digital ledgers implemented in a distributed fashion and usually without a central authority”, blockchains can drive a major shift by empowering otherwise invisible informal waste reclaimers in the circular plastic ecosystem and offering users the opportunities to capture value from end-of-life plastic products. It can also offer a more transparent and accountable system whereby information from the “molecular barcode” of plastics can be publicly tagged and tracked, but not altered, through the product life cycle. This will enable public accountability and monitoring of the activities, contributions and commitment of big corporations to the circular economy. This chapter also discusses the case of BanQu, a blockchain solution launched in partnership with Coca-Cola Africa to improve local recycling and drive a circular plastic economy in South Africa.

Item Type: Book Section
Identification Number:
Page Range: 106-119
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 14:49
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:31

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