Recycling, Blockchain & Reverse Supply Chains, the Business Case for Sustainability & Recycling Plastics, and Social Environmentalism

March 16, 2021

Recycling, Blockchain & Reverse Supply Chains, the Business Case for Sustainability & Recycling Plastics, and Social Environmentalism

The wastes from plastics and electronics are putting increased pressure on the recycling industry and reverse supply chains. Despite massive initiatives by public and private organizations, recycling rates remain low and progress remains slow. Estimates suggest there are 400 million tons of plastic produced each year, which is projected to more than double by 2050. Around 40% of plastic packaging is said to be landfilled, and another 32% leaked into the environment and not reused, according to the World Economic Forum.

Nine-tenths of all solid waste in the United States does not get recycled. While landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution (roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled), our take-make-waste mindset and transition away from a linear economy presets a transformative opportunity. What’s the business case for change, for moving toward a sustainable and circular world? Recycling is a difficult business. The whole process is full of inefficiencies, has many stakeholders, and a lack of digital data to track a product’s journey from creation to destruction. The challenge for the recycling business is supply chain visibility and traceability.

In Episode 44, Sheri Hinish chats with Stan Chen of RecycleGo. Stan is a 2nd generation recycler and believes there is a way to make supply chains sustainable and scale the circular economy- particularly how we use and source plastics- using disruptive innovation like blockchain, and data analytics. This episode was recorded just days after the US presidential election and Stan explores his experience as a 1st generation Asian American, growing up in the midst of racial change and while honoring his father’s legacy as a Taiwanese recycler. Irvington, N.J.-based recycling technology solutions provider RecycleGO is using Hyperledger Fabric, an open-sourced blockchain framework, to build a platform for any type of recyclable material to be tracked throughout its lifecycle. If you’re interested in learning about the impact of plastics, micros plastics, social environmentalism and its impacts, and innovation in recycling using technology like blockchain, this episode is for you.

We also dive into the importance for making the business case in sustainability investments and the ROI period. The power of your purse is real and there’s never been a better time to invest in your future.

Benefits of using a SaaS, blockchain solution for recycling like RecycleGo include:

1.    Cross-organization supply chain recycling tracking that enables data transparency and provenance

2.    Tracking individual plastic items across their lifecycles to create incentives that reward manufacturers for designing easy-to-reuse or recycle plastics. Because reuse and recycling of products is so essential to the creation of sustainable supply chains, this data will be invaluable for businesses that make eco-friendliness a top priority.

3.    Providing better recycling incentives for consumers to reduce accumulated plastics in oceans and mass-ingestion of microplastics worldwide.


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