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Incentivizing Recycling with the Blockchain

October 29, 2018


On Sunday, something akin to a unique use case for the Blockchain came to light.


Even so, to begin to understand it, it is first necessary to comprehend some of the economics behind Crypto tokens and what are being called “Token ecosystems.” In short, tokens are what incentivize a user to stay on these ecosystems and keep using the products that are tied to them.


Sunday’s announcement from SC Johnson, the American cleaning supplies giant, revealed the possibility of incentivizing behavior outside of the direct product ecosystem. In this that behavior is recycling plastic products, starting in a group of recycling locations in Indonesia, according to Cointelegraph. In explaining why they chose this location to begin their unique Blockchain endeavor in connection with a company called Plastic Bank, SC Johnson reportedly cited data that indicates that 55% of the plastic trash that is in our oceans comes from only China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Inside of this discussion, therefore, they also suggested that these countries could stand to have better recycling practices to avoid having this responsibility.


The general idea behind all of this is that SC Johnson, with the help of Plastic Bank, will release a Blockchain product that gives tokens to local people in the countries where it is operational, when these people prove that they have recycled plastic items. If you are wondering how this will be done, it all starts with the fact that the two companies are opening dedicated recycling centers for this specific project, the first of which is in Bali.


People who bring plastic items to these centers, receive some sort of equivalent number of digital tokens in return, which SC Johnson claims can be exchanged for what they call “needed goods and services.” In explaining this further, the same company release mentioned above also notes that each center will be able to take in 100 metric tons of plastic waste each year.


Above all, SC Johnson and Plastic Bank actually envision their dedicated token having enough utility and value to elevate people out of poverty, beginning in Indonesia. If you are wondering where this utility as well as this overall value will come from, that part depends on Plastic Bank. At its heart, Plastic Bank is a firm that takes in plastic and gives fiat or Cryptocurrencies back to customers, in return.


With this in mind, it is logical to wonder what SC Johnson’s place in all of this truly is, since Plastic Bank will seemingly be using its own Blockchain for this project. Judging by the evidence at hand, for now, the answer lies in the money. SC Johnson is the key backer and Plastic Bank is the technology provider.


Furthermore, it would be amiss to discount the fact that SC Johnson is cleaning up their company image with all of this. They alone produce a large amount of the world’s plastic, simply due to their relative monopoly on the cleaning supplies market, to the tune of $10.3 billion in revenue in 2017.


In the end, we are left with the question that almost every Blockchain company is trying to answer now. How do we really incentivize the average person in our target market to use our product? In the case of what we can call Plastic Coin, any success that it will have, will assuredly depend on Plastic Bank proving to local people that they can actually provide items of value in return for recycling efforts.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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