Although recycling may seem like a relatively simple concept, the plastics recycling supply chain proves otherwise. From understanding which plastics get recycled to determining the quality of those plastics, these issues and more are resulting in lower recycling participation rates.
Statistics show that by 2024, the global recycling market is expected to reach $377 billion. However, plastic waste management has become an issue severely impacting today’s environment. For example, the United Nations estimates that about 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced globally each year. Unfortunately, only 9% of that is recycled. U.N. findings further show that about 12% of waste is burnt into ashes, while the remaining 79% accumulates in landfills, dumps or the natural environment.
Stan Chen, CEO of recycling platform RecycleGo, told Cointelegraph that the recycling business is “plagued with ineﬃciencies, a slew of stakeholders, and a lack of digital data.” In addition, he believes that what stops the industry from growing is “a need for greater supply chain visibility for better decision-making.”
While it’s clear that recycling systems are rather insufficient, Chen noted that much of this stems from the notion that there isn’t enough consumer education or incentives for citizens and businesses to recycle. On increased transparency in the recycling supply chain, he also noted:
“The more visibility you have in any kind of supply chain, the more you’re able to engage in enterprise resource planning, including pricing and purchasing decisions and inventory management, which has a direct impact on protecting your margins and ultimately your value creation as a whole.”
Blockchain bridges the packaging gap
Manager of communications at the Blockchain Research Institute, Noah Lehman, co-authored a report that was shared with Cointelegraph titled “Transforming Plastic Pollution Using Blockchain.” The document states how blockchain technology can…