Blockchain Firms Tackling Plastic Pollution with Cryptocurrency
Bounties Network, an Ethereum-powered platform that claims to make it possible for people to collaboratively execute tasks and get paid in ether (ETH), has launched a plastic waste eradication program in the Philippines’ Manila Bay beach, according to a BBC report on June 13, 2019.
Crowdsourcing Waste Management
Manila Bay beach, a beach nicknamed “toilet bowl” for the massive filth and plastic waste that once buried its shoreline, is now unrecognizably clean, thanks to the forward-thinking, crypto-powered initiative of Bounties Network.
Per sources close to the matter, during the first week of December 2018, the Brooklyn-based blockchain project stormed Manila Bay beach and launched a pilot project that incentivized a small network of fishers via an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency to clear up three tons of trash from the beach over two days.
To make it easy for participants to redeem their earned coins for fiat, Bounties Network reportedly allied with Coins.ph, a mobile wallet that enables Filipinos to make online payments and buy cryptos.
The two-day Manila Bay waste management pilot employed the participants for roughly $2.50 an hour, whereas a whole day’s pay for someone on minimum wage in the nation is far less than that amount.
In the end, a total of $700 was used to clean-up waste ranging from plastics, sodden mattresses, diapers, children’s dolls, and even slippers. Conversely, the results achieved with this method would have cost the official government waste disposal program a whopping $10,500.
“It’s like we’re using one stone to kill two birds. We are educating the people and making them realize the benefit of having a clean environment, as well as the effect it will have in the long run, such as a great amount of fish,” said Christina Gallano, a technical project manager a Bounties Network.
According to the BBC, citing research results by IBM researchers, about 80 percent of ocean plastic in developing countries emanates from communities with high poverty.
Against that backdrop, Bounties Network is planning to organize new crypto-based projects in Thailand and Indonesia to empower poverty-stricken people in these regions, while also significantly reducing plastic waste globally.
In related news, earlier in April 2019, BTCManager informed that authorities in India’s Greater Bangalore metropolitan area had launched a similar blockchain pilot for waste management.