Introducing Plastiks: Transparency and Traceability Needs to Happen Now
Recently we, at Nozama, were excited to announce the deployment of the Plastiks platform that will launch after the crowd sale of its utility token — Plastik. We are eager to move forward in being trailblazers merging the recycling and NFT industries. It’s safe to say that this comes in time of need.
Of the 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic that have been produced, 6.3 billion tonnes have become plastic waste (Parker and National Geographic 2018). The infographic by Our World in Data below demonstrates the scale of the global plastic waste crisis. In reaction to this increasingly pressing issue, governments around the world started recycling and incineration programs in the 80s and 90s; in 1990, just 2% of global plastic waste was recycled while only 8% was incinerated compared to 19.5% recycled and 25.5% incinerated in 2015 (Our World in Data 2018). This trend appears to be continuing in one direction only. Furthermore, in an estimate outlined by Zheng and Suh in 2019, the amount emitted globally due to the production and disposal of plastic products is 1780.46 Mt CO2eq. (Zheng and Suh 2019). For comparison, the UK’s Carbon footprint has been calculated to be 329.58 MtCO2 in 2020 (Our World in Data 2020).
As governments move away from using landfill as a means of plastic disposal, there has been an increasing amount of fraud as companies claim that they are recycling waste but that waste then ends up in landfill. For instance, in the UK, over a 3 month period in 2018, 6 plastic exporters in the UK were stripped of their licence for falsely claiming that plastic was going to be recycled (Laville 2018). The recycling industry suffers from issues of transparency and deception, proving the fact that there is a need for more accountability and traceability in the recycling supply chains. These are all problems that Plastiks is here to solve.
Furthermore, environmental-consciousness has never been further up the corporate agenda than today and companies are increasingly wanting to demonstrate the steps they are taking towards being green when sourcing materials and in all their business practices. It will soon be the case that corporations will want to demonstrate that the plastic they are producing is being recycled and Plastiks can be used to do this.
By minting an NFT to represent an amount of plastic recycled, we hope to address the issues of transparency and traceability since every time you want to create an NFT, you will want to show transparently that the ‘recycled material’ has indeed been recycled as this will affect the price of the NFT itself and will affect the marketing value of the NFT. A company showing transparently that they are recycling their plastic will be able to sell an NFT for a much higher price than a company that is not as transparent. Furthermore, in order to post on the Marketplace, companies will need to be verified.
The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) surged to new highs in the second quarter, with $2.5 billion in sales so far this year, up from just $13.7 million in the first half of 2020, marketplace data showed a 18,250% increase (Howcroft 2021).
We hope that the blockchain-powered Plastiks marketplace will revolutionise these two multibillion-dollar industries: Recycling and NFT’s. Using the power of smart contracts will enable recyclers to mint and sell recycling guarantees as NFTs to single-use packaging (SUP) producers. This, in turn, will increase the transparency and traceability of SUP while allowing companies to show proof of recycling.
The Plastik token will be used to unlock the features and utilities of the Plastiks platform that will be deployed at the end of the month in November. This comes coincidentally, but nearly simultaneously to the EU Parliament and Council adopting Implemented Decision 2021/1752 which will require additional SUP tracking and calculations of certain types of plastic SUPs.
Therefore, we feel like we are releasing our Plastiks platform at exactly the right time: the NFT market is booming; there are many significant instances of fraud within the recycling industry and there is regulatory and public demand for companies to manage their plastic footprint. Therefore, we hope that our project will fill this niche and will help humanity’s fight for a greener planet.
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Howcroft, Elizabeth. 2021. “NFT sales volume surges to $2.5 bln in 2021 first half.” Reuters, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/technology/nft-sales-volume-surges-25-bln-2021-first-half-2021-07-05/.
Laville, Sandra. 2018. “UK plastics recycling industry under investigation for fraud and corruption.” The Guardian, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/18/uk-recycling-industry-under-investigation-for-and-corruption.
Our World in Data. 2018. “Plastic Pollution — Our World in Data.” https://ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution.
Our World in Data. 2020. “Annual CO2 Emissions (UK).” Our World in Data (United Kingdom: CO2 Country Profile). https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/united-kingdom?country=~GBR.
Parker, Laura, and National Geographic. 2018. “A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.” National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment.
Zheng, Jiajia, and Sangwon Suh. 2019. “Strategies to Reduce the Global Carbon Footprint of Plastics.” Nature Climate Change 9 (5): 374–378. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0459-z.