Recycling is starting to really catch on in Europe. France has seen its rate of recycling of household packaging waste rise from 18% in 1974 to 70% by 2017, while over in Switzerland you can find yourself slapped with a fine if you don't follow the recycling regulations. So much for the 'stick'. Others prefer to use the 'carrot'. This is the thinking of UK-based startup Blockchain Development Company (BCDC), which has created a system to motivate citizens to recycle their waste in return for a reward. At a time when France appears to be about to return to a deposit system for plastic bottles, the RecycletoCoin app is based on a similar principle. The way it works is that you can drop off your bottles and aluminium cans at a partnering collection point, scan a QR code and receive in exchange BCDC tokens created by blockchain technology. Under a partnership arrangement, the tokens can subsequently be converted into a virtual gift card, into crypto-currency, or be used to finance other environmental care projects. BCDC's idea is to extend the initiative, which was launched barely three months ago in the UK, to other major cities worldwide. This could prove to be an effective way to get citizens to treat their planet better, inter alia by reducing the pollution caused by waste plastic.
By Sophia Qadiri