BASF Launches Plastic Recycling Blockchain Pilot In British Columbia
A German chemical company, BASF SE, on Thursday, declared the launch of a pilot of its reciChain distributed ledger blockchain platform in British Columbia, Canada, to assist in introducing a sustainable recycling model to decrease the production of plastic waste.
The pilot, conducted by BASF’s Canadian branch BASF Canada, will utilize blockchain technology coupled with digital badges and loop count technology, which can compute the number of products present in a particular volume, to facilitate securely sharing recycling data amidst market participants.
The aim will be to present up-to-date real-time data to enhance the tracing, sorting, and monitoring of plastics during the value chain lifecycle of such products. In conclusion, BASF assumes its integrative supply chain with a recycling solution to build a circular cycle for product utilization rather than a linear “product, consumer, trash” lifecycle.
Also, due to the increased transparency of blockchain technology, brands can employ the platform to offer more assurance of the validity of certificates for materials purchased from recyclers and converters.
“There is a clear global challenge around the economics of recycling plastic,” stated Marcelo Lu, president of BASF Canada.
“Much of the collection and sorting activities are challenged by manual processes and material contamination. Additionally, traceability is a concern as new commitments start to emerge from brand owners and retailers. With reciChain, our goal is to revitalize the value of plastics and significantly improve circularity in the supply chain.”
According to a report from Deloitte for Environment and Climate Change Canada, In 2016, Canada disposed of almost 3.3 million tons of plastic waste. 11% of those plastics were recycled. That indicates the remains were landfilled or otherwise discharged into the environment. The report predicted that if the trend proceeds, Canadians will dispose of $11.1 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.
The platform was piloted in Brazil and was motivated by a need in the market to trade with social inequality issues as well as regulatory concerns concerning the issuance of recycling certificates. With added transparency and the tamper-evident effect of blockchain technology, it provided for the tokenization of the recycling value of plastics, which facilitated businesses and the government to offer more equitable distribution along the supply chain better.
BASF believes that this Canadian pilot, and the pilot in Brazil, will head to more data about the effectiveness of the platform for tracing recycled plastics so that further pilot programs can be initiated in other regions.
“A successful implementation of reciChain will result in a collaborative digital consortium that will bring together plastic manufacturers, suppliers, government entities, retailers, waste collectors and recyclers aimed at keeping the life of plastic molecules circular,” stated Anthony DiPrinzio, head of BASF Blockchain Lab.
The project in Brazil has received the participation of significant Brazilian vital institutions and businesses and will continue to expand in correspondence with the Canadian pilot program.
DiPrinzio argued that blockchain technology would provide what is needed to enable distinct entities in the supply chain to work together to assure that products add to a “circular economy” produced by recycling plastic products.